Cpl. Dame and Cst. Hilland join Gabriola RCMP

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, October 11 2016

As happens virtually every summer, there has been a change in personnel at the Gabriola RCMP detachment, this year including a change in command.

Cpl. Nathan Dame (on right) has taken over as detachment commander from Cpl. Markus Müntener.

Cst. Mark Hilland (on left) has come in to replace Cst. Ed DeJong.

Still with Gabriola detachment is Cst. Jan Hendriks, who arrived in 2014.

Cpl. Dame comes to Gabriola from a posting in the Nas Valley, roughly two hours drive north of Terrace BC.

His 13 years in the RCMP have always been at the community level, or General Duty as the RCMP calls it.

“I started in Richmond, and went north from there.”

Once RCMP members have worked up north, they are given their pick of where they want to get posted, and according to Dame, Gabriola is seen as a desirable posting.

He knows a small detachment means less support staff than the urban areas, “small detachments have a lot of admin time. More than half our day is in the office, keeping things caught up.”

Cpl. Dame is married, he and his wife have a daughter who will be going to high school in Nanaimo, and a son looking to head to Vancouver Island University.

He says he joined the RCMP, “because you get to make a living helping people out.”

Cst. Hilland is originally from Maple Ridge, and has been in the RCMP for four years.

He comes to Gabriola from Fort St. James.

Gabriola was on his radar for a posting as he has known outgoing Cpl. Müntener since the two grew up in Maple Ridge together.

“Last summer, we came to visit, and put in our name for Gabriola after that.”

The constable is married, he and his wife have two children aged six and two years old.

He calls himself a bit o a late-joiner with the RCMP, “but I delayed joining. I’ve always wanted to do it. I like doing everything, that’s why I like general duty, you see everything.”

Cpl. Dame says he doesn’t have any particular agenda for the detachment right now, he wants to find out what the community wants, and then bring that in line with what the overall RCMP direction is.

“If it’s enforcing U-turns at the ferries, or visiting the schools. It is what the community wants.”

Cpl. Dame added drugs are always an issue in every community. An annual meeting between the Gabriola RCMP and local elected officials hasn’t happened yet, Dame said he looks forward to meeting the Trustees and Regional Director to talk about what they see as necessary for Gabriola policing.