Staff Sgt. and Merritt’s detachment Commander Josh Roda was raised among Mounties.

Growing up in Maple Ridge, Roda recalls fond memories of his neighbours, who were mostly RCMP officers, and were a key factor in his interest for the policing career. 

“I ended up going on a few ride-alongs and then actually went to an RCMP Youth Academy, and decided it was something I wanted to do,” he said. “So I got into the RCMP when I was 21.”

Roda has been with the RCMP for almost 15 years. He started at the Chilliwack detachment in 2009, where he worked on general duty. He was later transferred within the detachment to the serious crime department.

From Chilliwack, Roda moved to Agassiz to work in their general investigation section, which focused on drugs and property crime investigation. His time at the detachment in Agassiz made him want to adventure on northern posts across the province, as he moved up to Alexis Creek, an unincorporated community located near Williams Lake.

After two years on that post, he moved all the way to Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island, where he policed for a year. His first promotion as a corporal took him back to a place he holds close to his heart, Maple Ridge.

“I worked on the watch in Maple Ridge as a corporal, and then from there, I went into serious crimes,” Roda said.

From his time working on major investigations in Maple Ridge, Roda got promoted once again. His excellent work got him moved to Merritt in 2019, as an operations non-commissioned officer.

Ever since being in Merritt, Roda said the town has been an amazing place to work and live. He also said his coworkers make it easy for him to go to work every day.

“It has a small town feel, but has many big city amenities,” he said. “We have an amazing group of hard working, dedicated officers and staff that truly care about making positive change in our community.” 

On his most recent promotion from an operations NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) to staff sergeant as Merritt’s detachment commander, Roda believes he still has a long way to go.

“I’ve probably only hit halfway (point) in my career,” he said. “I am very happy right now in Merritt. I’m really excited to keep being a part of this detachment in this community.”

From dealing with building a good relationship with Merritt’s local government or local partners, supporting police officers, Roda knows how significant his job as a commander is for Merritt and its community.

“I try to support our frontline officers in the work that they’re doing where they’re combating drugs, property, crime, and violent offences,” he said. “I think it’s really important what we do.”

Going forward, Roda said he and Merritt RCMP are working to have a stronger police presence in the downtown core of Merritt.

“I think we’ve seen … an uptake in visible drug use in the downtown core,” he said. “Something that we want to do is really support the local businesses, support the community by being visible in the downtown core and dealing with a lot of those problems.”