After three years at the RCMP’s BC headquarters, Mission’s new head Mountie says he is excited to return to a frontline policing role.
Insp. Ted De Jager took command of the Mission RCMP Wednesday. He replaces the detachment’s former head, Insp. Richard Konarski, who retired in September.
De Jager had been working as the officer in charge of the Mounties’ operations development unit.
As he starts in Mission, he told The Record that he hopes to continue to push towards modernization of the force, albeit on a local level this time.
De Jager has been a Mountie for 16 years, and had spent more than a decade as a local police officer, most recently in Burnaby. An Abbotsford resident, he says he is excited for his new role.
“It’s going to be very exciting being part of the community there,” he said. “I’ve always been a frontline police officer and I’ve always been involved in general duty and operations so I guess this is a great opportunity to do that.
“It’s very exciting to get back to detachment policing. That’s always been my passion.”
De Jager said he is looking forward to working with the district’s mayor and council to support the community.
“I’m a big believer in that kind of open communication and consultation,” he said.
De Jager said the downtown core and West Stave Lake will continue to be a focus for officers.
“The detachment priorities are something I’ll continue to focus on. Those were well set up and were set up in consultation with the community.”
Prior to joining the RCMP, De Jager enjoyed an extensive career with the Canadian Forces and the army. After signing up at the age of 17, De Jager saw stints in Germany and Cambodia, as well as throughout Canada, in a range of roles.
“I loved the army … and had a great career there.”
When he made the move to the RCMP in order to stay in the Lower Mainland, he checked a second box off of a decades-old to-do list.
“Those were always two things I wanted to do, when I was in high school, either join the armed forces or join the RCMP,” De Jager said.
Mission’s new top Mountie said his experience in the military has transitioned well to civilian policing, including “The army way of planning in being very thorough in they not only plan for operations but in how they treat their people and the mission that they have to do have really influenced my approach to policing, both in terms of being very open and clear to people, whether those are clients we’re working with our own members.”