By Cindy Filipenko
The son of a career RCMP officer, Paul Vadik always wanted to don the red serge. Watching his father and his father’s colleagues working to insure that citizens of towns in rural Manitoba were safe was inspiring.
“Seeing what my dad and his friends did gave me a sense of pride,” said Corp. Vadik.
Over the course of his 13 years on the force, he has worked in a gang unit investigating the Nanaimo Hells Angels, as an undercover officer in the drug unit and in property crimes. As the new full-time officer in Pemberton, he can add police escort to his job description.
Almost every morning Corp. Vadik can be seen at the crosswalk at the juncture of Portage and Flint streets, helping kids cross the town’s main thoroughfare to safely get to school. Supporting his morning efforts are a couple of well-placed police vehicles to remind motorists to slow down.
“Kids seem to get a kick out of it, being helped across the street by a police officer,” he said.
Maintaining community safety tops Corp. Vadik’s agenda.
“Pemberton is a safe community,” he states.
Having lived in Pemberton since transferring to the Whistler-Pemberton detachment nearly three years ago, Corp. Vadik has plenty of experience in the community, as both a resident and a law enforcement officer. As part of the Whistler-Pemberton detachment, he had many opportunities to work in the community over the past few years.
His new designation as a full-time officer marks the first time Pemberton has had a full-time dedicated police presence since the detachments of Whistler and Pemberton amalgamated three years ago. The new provincially-funded position was developed at the request of the previous Village of Pemberton council.
While Pemberton is a safe community by both urban and suburban standards, it’s not without its problems. One of the areas of concern for the corporal is the community’s drug problem, an issue he stresses is not unique.
“There’s probably not a community without a drug problem,” said Vadik. “I have no time for drug traffickers.”
The officer is quick to point our that where there’s drugs, there’s property crime and rarely is a grow op busted without stolen goods being found on the property.
“Intelligence is very important to policing,” said Vadik.
Recognizing that there may be reluctance to provide information to police in a small town, the officer points out that information can be made anonymously, regardless of the particular crime concern.
“You can call in, give the information and you don’t have to leave your name,” he said.
Drugs aside, other issues that are at the forefront are traffic-related, from speeding to drunk driving. Corp. Vadik promises that residents can expect an increased police presence on the road.
He will also facilitate communication between the RCMP and Mount Currie’s Stl’Atl’Imx Tribal Police, give presentations to elementary and high school students and be a source of information for the community at large.
He describes himself as a “results-driven person” and is looking forward to the impact that he can have in a small town where good policing is as much about relationships as law enforcement.