Photo Credit: The Westerly | Andrew Bailey

Meet Ucluelet’s New Police Chief

Sgt Marc Jones thinks so.

Sgt. Jones is hoping to break down barriers and become a part of the community.

Getting to know your neighbours is a huge part of being in a community.

Police officers are often seen as separate from the rest of us, for better or for worse.

But their purpose is to help keep communities safe, so they should be a part of them.

In Ucluelet, Sgt. Marc Jones, the new RCMP chief, hopes to be just that.

“Having been in a small community, I’m used to interacting with a lot of people within the community. That’s policing in general. You should be interacting,” he said. “I like to say, ‘Hi’ to everybody and be part of it,” he told BlackPress Media.

Getting to know your local force member can help foster greater understanding and hold them accountable to the community’s needs.

Sgt. Jones wants to spread this message.

He moved from Whatì, a small, isolated town of roughly 540 people on Lac La Martre in the Northwest Territories.

He’s had a 26-year-long career with the RCMP.

“I’ve always given the advice to the different officers I’ve trained to do a lot of the different things within the police force that you want to do… You work hard at them, and I believe it rounds you out as a person,” he told BlackPress Media.

One of the most valuable lessons he’s learned during the span was in the last two years as police chief for a small village up north.

Working in the northern territories was on his bucket list, and from that, he gained a wealth of experience working with small communities and nations.

“Right now, one of the policing priorities I’m looking to try to speak to them about is reconciliation. We have a huge job in that. That was very big for us when I was up in the North. I want to see from their perspectives what they want from us and what we can do to better our relationship.”

The Ucluelet RCMP serves three communities, the town of Ucluelet, the Toquaht First Nation community of Macoah and the Ucluelet First Nation Community of Hitacu.

Jones says his goal is to serve all three equally and create open dialogue regarding how the communities would like to be best served by the RCMP.

“I’m hoping to be able to open up lines of communication… If there’s something that we’re not doing right or if there’s something we’re doing that’s upsetting, then I want to know and I want to resolve those before they become big problems.”

This mentality extends to his methods of tackling issues that need policing as well.

“I always believe there should be some strategy before we just hit right into enforcement… I like to develop a plan and provide an education piece where we help educate the community.”

The top issue he’ll be focusing on, to begin with, is a simple matter of traffic safety.

“Bay Street. It’s a playground zone, and we’ve got a lot of people speeding through there, and the community members are upset with it.”

“I’m already looking at different things we can implement that will help reduce that.”

Overall, Jones says he’ll do his best to listen and give back to the community however he can.

“I’m very excited. I like the members here. I like the staff here. All my interactions so far have been very good. I’m very happy with the way things are going.”

So if you see him around town, maybe give him a hello, and if you feel moved, have a conversation.

He’ll be glad to talk and hear out any concerns you may have.

Welcome to town, Sgt Jones.