West District RCMP detachment commander, Chris Henderson, always wanted to be a policeman

Barb Rayner/Courier Sgt. Chris Henderson, who grew up in Charlotte County, is West District RCMP's new detachment commander in St. George.

St. George – From the time he was a child, Sgt. Chris Henderson wanted to be a police officer, and now he is West District RCMP’s detachment commander, in St. George.

“I remember as a young child, my uncle was on the St. George fire department, and going to the hall with him, and seeing the police vehicles and fire trucks, and always having a passion for emergency services. I was drawn more to the policing side of things.

”It is a pleasure to be back here. I grew up in the area, and I look forward to serving the people of this area – St. George, Saint Andrews, Blacks Harbour, Deer Island, and Grand Manan.”

Born in Moncton, Henderson grew up in both St. George, and Saint Andrews, but spent most of his youth in the latter community, where he graduated from Sir James Dunn Academy.
“As I grew up in Saint Andrews, the local RCMP officers were a large influence on my upbringing, particularly Cst. Norm Atkins, and Cpl. Rinnie Plomp. They got my wheels spinning.”

After graduation, Henderson went on to UNB, where he obtained his BA. At that time, he said getting into the RCMP was quite challenging, so he felt in order to better equip himself, he would go to university.

He then worked for two years in student recruitment at the university, before heading off to Regina in October 2001, to take his RCMP training, and his first posting was in Leduc, Alberta.
Henderson remained in Leduc for six years, where he worked in the detachment, as well as in the general investigative and drug sections, then was posted to the Wood Buffalo RCMP detachment, in Fort McMurray.

He spent three year there working in the persons’ crime unit, investigating crimes involving such things as homicides, robberies, and sexual assaults. In 2010, he transferred to Stony Plain/Spruce Grove, also in Alberta, and returned to general policing.

Henderson returned to Charlotte County in July 2014, and worked with the West District’s crime reduction unit, whose primary mandate is targeting prolific offenders, as well as supporting more serious investigations, and the major crime unit. There is a crime reduction unit in each district.

“We work together, and support each other. It was a great experience. We worked on a number of serious files in the district. Drug investigations are one of the things the unit does.”

Henderson became acting detachment commander in St. George last October then, when the position became open, he decided to apply for it, and was successful.
“Stepping into this role, I will be focusing on addressing the priorities we have set in conjunction with the communities we serve, and the Community Policing Committee – traffic enforcement, off-road vehicle enforcement, drugs, and dealing with prolific offenders, as well as working with our youth.

“We have some very keen and talented members in the detachment. As detachment commander, I want to show the good work they are doing in the communities, and support them in their operations.

“We also have some great public service staff, who help to streamline and support operations. They are a big part of what we do. We have a close working relationship with the St. Stephen detachment and we work in RSC 10 to support each other.”

Since September, said Henderson, RSC 10 has been working on a new service delivery model and, while there is a dotted line which exists between St. George and St. Stephen detachments, he works closely with his counterpart in St. Stephen, Sgt. Peter Stubbs, supporting each other with resources to address priorities within the region.

“I have heard through consultation with the mayors, councils, Community Policing Committee, and others in the community, that they are happy with the delivery of policing services to our communities in recent months, and we are looking to continue that trend.

“The last couple of weeks have been very busy for us, and I am very happy with the work our members have been doing. I feel that the people of this area are well served.”
Henderson pointed out that anybody can get involved with the Community Policing Committee, if they are interested. He said there are a number of ways people can support the RCMP – either by getting involved with the CPC, or such organizations as Crime Stoppers, and MADD.