Change in Olds RCMP personnel

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The Olds RCMP detachment is undergoing a change in personnel.

Dale Bereza, formerly a constable, has been promoted to corporal and is leaving the detachment to work in Athabasca.

His replacement, Const. Brian Eagle, is already here and undergoing training.

Staff Sgt. Joe Sangster, the commanding officer of the Olds RCMP detachment, praised Bereza during a meeting with Bowden town councillors.

“He’s a good guy,” he said, adding that Athabasca is closer to Bereza’s hometown of Lac La Biche.

During that meeting, Sangster said Bereza was in the process of selling his house. He did not know when that might happen.

As a result of the change, Sangster said, the Olds RCMP was “up to snuff” staffing-wise, including Bereza and Eagle.

He said the detachment is also waiting for another officer – a woman with 18 years’ experience and stationed in Cochrane – to join them. However, he said, she too is trying to sell her house.

Sangster said so far, Eagle is doing well.

“He’s fresh out of (the RCMP training) depot,” Sangster said.

“He’s got six months of field training to do so I’ve got him with a trainer. He seems like a good young lad – young wife, new child, eight months old, so it was nice to see them.”

Bowden mayor Robb Stuart said it’s his understanding that RCMP are now “fast-tracking” recruits.

Sangster was not sure that’s the correct phrase, but he did confirm that in this new year RCMP are “ramping things up” to graduate more recruits.

“They changed a few things to try to speed up the process,” he said. “One thing, you had to write an entrance exam, right? If you have a degree, you don’t have to write that anymore.”

dcollie@olds.greatwest.ca

“He’s got six months of field training to do so I’ve got him with a trainer. He seems like a good young lad.”STAFF SGT. JOE SANGSTERCOMMANDING OFFICER OLDS RCMP

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.