Arriving in the North Okanagan in 2008, Al Harrison skimmed The Morning Star wanted ads looking for something different to do.
The former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and Alberta Corrections officer stationed in Fort Saskatchewan, saw an ad looking for bylaw officers.
Harrison applied, got the job and has been on the bylaw beat for 11 years.
At the annual general meeting and 49th annual Licence Inspectors and Bylaw Officers Association of B.C. (LIBOA) conference earlier this month in Salmon Arm, Harrison, 62, was named Bylaw Officer of the Year.
“It’s a very sobering award to win,” said Harrison, honoured during Monday’s regular meeting of Vernon council by Mayor Victor Cumming. “There’s several people out there that probably deserve it, but I’m honoured to win it.”
Founded in 1970, LIBOA’s goal is to promote uniformed licensing regulations and bylaw enforcement throughout B.C. The provincial officers of the year are recognized for exhibiting leadership and vision, showcasing outstanding public civil service and demonstrates superior skills in bylaw investigation and enforcement.
“Al was selected because he exhibits kindness, compassion and generosity toward his co-workers and members of the public,” said Cumming. “He exhibits professionalism in the way he conducts himself and interacts with the public, and he’s a role model and mentor for his colleagues.”
The ad for bylaw officer, said Harrison, fit in with his military and corrections background, and there hasn’t been a day that he regretted applying for the job.
“There isn’t anything about my job I don’t like,” said Harrison. “Interacting with the public, learning everyday the bylaws and how to enforce and just going out and meeting people. I love it.”