If you wish to “like” Sgt. Scott West, you’re going to have to meet him in person.
Sicamous residents will not find the community’s new detachment commander on social media websites like Facebook. When it comes to public relations, West says he prefers the tried-and-true approach of speaking with people in person.
“Face-to-face – that’s the way I’ve always done business… and that’s the way I appreciate doing it,” said West. “If I have to do something over the phone, then great, but if it’s a community group or somebody who needs some personal attention, that’s what I get paid to do – help people solve problems.”
West’s approach may have something to do with his preference for working in smaller communities. Prior to Sicamous, West, who has served 22 years with the RCMP, was stationed in Dawson Creek. There he was Operations NCO (non-commissioned officer) and sometimes acting detachment commander. Prior to that, he worked four years in Kamloops, just under a year in Nakusp and 13 years in Kelowna.
“That’s just where my career path has led me…,” said West. “I’ve never been a big-city boy, so I’m not inclined to go to the metro area or the Lower Mainland. I like small-town policing. I like being able to deal with the public and being familiar with the people in town. That’s the way I grew up, I guess.”
West arrived in the Shuswap with his wife and two kids, who he says “have been following him around for the last 15 years.”
Not having been in the community long, West said he’s still getting his bearings, but is quickly picking up on policing priorities that may be more unique to the community, such as snowmobiling. He says one of the local detachment’s focuses has been, and will continue to be making sure local and visiting sledders can have a good time without being victims of crime.
“It’s not that I have to make any changes along those lines – the members here already have that mindset,” said West. “And then of course, in the summertime – it is a summertime destination – so it’s to make sure everybody has fun and does so responsibly and nobody ends up being a victim of a crime in any way, shape or form.”
While energies will be focused on policing priorities, West anticipates his problem-solving abilities will be called upon for all kinds of matters.
“I was dealing with a gentleman yesterday, it didn’t turn out it was solely a policing issue, and the policing issue was relatively minor, but it was an issue where he had a problem and he didn’t know how to solve it,” said West. “So I gave him a couple of outlets, a couple of avenues to follow up on his own.
“I told him to get back to me and tell me how he made out. He called me yesterday afternoon and he said all my problems are solved… so, did I solve somebody’s problem? No. But did I equip him with the information to be maybe help them solve their own problems on their own? Yeah. Sometimes that’s what the police do.”