One of Mission's top crime fighters is putting away his badge and gun and taking out his favourite superhero uniform.
After Mission RCMP Insp. Richard Konarski retires from the force, he plans to train for and participate in marathons, half marathons, and triathlons. His next major stop is the Avengers Super Heroes half marathon in Disneyland, Calif. in November. He hasn't decided which character to dress up as yet. He was Superman in this year's Sun Run, and he's considering the Man of Steel outfit again, but he's uncertain whether a DC comic character should crash a Marvel, creators of the Avengers, party. He'll have a few months to think about it.
Konarski, 55, has been with the RCMP for 37 years worked his last shift last week. He officially retires from the force in September and he's currently on vacation until then. The Superman and Batman posters and have been packed away, as well as his superhero coffee mug.
The comic book characters on the wall have provided a bit of fun around the office and a lot of inspiration, said Konarski.
"Each character has certain flaws (for Superman, it's kryptonite), but also extraordinary abilities," the inspector explained. "That's in every person. Call it a superpower, or whatever you want, but what will you do will it? How will you impact the rest of the world with it?"
Konarski believes his superpower is determination. He sets a goal and goes for it. That's how he moved through the RCMP ranks and eventually became an inspector in charge of a detachment.
Konarski joined the RCMP in 1977 and was first posted to Powell River in 1978. He spent the next 10 years in Port McNeill and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island before being transferred to Mission in 1988.
In 1994, he was promoted to corporal and moved to Maple Ridge where he worked in the serious crime unit. He stayed there for three years until he became a sergeant and relocated to headquarters as a polygraph examiner.
Four years later, Konarski was moved to Langley where he was promoted to staff sergeant. He stayed there for three years before being named an inspector in Surrey. More than six years after his last promotion, Konarski landed the position as officer in charge of the Mission RCMP detachment in 2011.
During his tenure here, Konarski developed a crime reduction strategy that has reduced property crime in the community and strengthened relationships with partner groups. He also established a foot patrol downtown, a program to work with youth at risk, and a plan to focus on domestic violence.
In his retirement, Konarski, a Mission resident, will work on finishing his PhD at Simon Fraser University on risk assessment in domestic violence, and look after Hatzic Park, a park he adopted.