/ Kevin Mills Photo

/ Kevin Mills Photo

Meet Insp. Ted Lewko, new officer in charge at the Mission RCMP detachment

22-year veteran says priorities are vulnerable groups, diversity, working with First Nations

Insp. Ted Lewko, the new officer in charge at the Mission RCMP detachment, has been getting to know the community in his first four months on the job.

The veteran officer, with 22 years of experience working for the RCMP, took over the top job in April, following the departure of Insp. Stephen Corp.

Lewko now oversees the day-to-day operations and administration of the local police force. He started his career in August of 2000. He worked in Langley for nine years, on general duty patrol and the drug section, before going to Surrey, as a Corporal, where he worked in the criminal intelligence section and crime reduction unit.

Lewko was promoted to Sergeant in Richmond, where he oversaw all the community policing portfolio – including mental health, schools, media and crime prevention.

Promoted again, this time to Staff-Sergeant in Coquitlam, Lewko oversaw the crime reduction unit as well as a property crime unit and more.

His entire career has taken place in the Lower Mainland in detachment policing and Lewko said he is happy to now be with Mission.

“This is a very tight and close knit detachment, which I really like. Within the first two or three weeks of being here, I knew everybody’s name. It’s like a family,” said Lewko.

He said the City of Mission is very much like that as well.

“In the three months that I have been here, a lot of what I’ve done is meet different people, community partners, community agencies and groups and what I find is everybody seems to know everybody else.”

Lewko said when you are trying to build things to make positive changes, it’s an advantage when people already know each other.

As the new officer in charge, Lewko has some priorities, that he personally wants to work on.

Dealing with vulnerable groups, mental health issues and the homeless population is important to Lewko. He wants to build a positive connection and work with other agencies.

“We have a job as the police to deal with people with mental health issues or with the homeless population. It is important to have a collaborative approach with community partners because these people need help and resources. It’s not just an enforcement-based issue,” he said.

Another personal priority is diversity.

Lewko said he wants to work with the First Nations community. He has also met with members of the Sikh temple and was in attendance at the recent Pride Fest celebration.

“I’m very much into building relationships with all the different diverse groups out there.”

Another priority is, of course, public safety, including road safety.

Lewko said trying to keep violent crime and property crime down is a given. There also needs to be a continued focus on ensuring our roads are safe for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

“That’s why the police are here.”

One other priority, which is more in-house than public, is employees wellness. Lewko wants to ensure that when an officer experiences a critical incident there is as much support available as possible. He wants to build on the current initiatives moving forward.

Other duties include monitoring known hot spots for criminal activity and long-term crime prevention planning.

Overall, Lewko said one of the big concepts he believes in is collaboration.

“To make Mission a safe place to live and work in relation to all of these priorities I’ve mentioned, a lot of the time the police can’t do it alone. There are a lot of really good partners in the community that we can reach out to, to get their expertise.”

RELATED: New officer in charge at the Mission RCMP detachment

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