The new detachment commander for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Labrador West says he's eager to immerse himself in the role.
Insp. Stephen Knight took over the helm at the detachment earlier this year, following a lengthy career with the force in St. John’s, working in major crimes, drug enforcement and other roles. He’s been involved in several high-profile cases and has received a couple of awards for bravery during his career.
He said he’s visited the area before, but this is his first time living in Labrador and he said he’s loving it so far.
“I want to embrace the community and become part of it, but also enjoy the experience. Labrador is the Big Land, as they call it, and I plan on appreciating it.”
Everyone is so friendly and happy to see the police, he said, it’s different from what he’s used to.
“It’s such a breath of fresh air. The relationship in St. John’s is positive, but it’s not the same as here in Labrador,” he said. “It’s just amazing, the inclusion the police are given here, especially with all the turbulent times we’re seeing across North America. It’s very different and positive what we’re seeing here in Lab west.”
He plans to make himself a part of the community, and build upon the relationships the RNC has in the region.
Labrador West MHA Jordan Brown said since Knight took over at the detachment he’s already been working on that, and he has big shoes to fill.
He cited the last two inspectors, Tom Warren and Sean Ennis, as people who did a lot of community outreach.
“They gave the RNC here a human face, a kind face,” he said. “The last few inspectors here were phenomenal and I’m looking forward to seeing what Inspector Knight will bring to the community to help build the RNC in the region, help build that community face.”
Brown agreed with Knight that the region has a great relationship with the RNC.
“Any event, anything that goes on, even if the RNC is not involved, they’re there,” he said. “You see officers at everything — they’ve marched in our Pride parades, they’ve done Canada Day, they volunteer their time and services, they always want to know ‘what can we do?’”
That involvement, Brown said, has helped the police be a part of the region in a positive way.
Evan Careen is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Labrador for the SaltWire Network