A/Cpl. Anderson said while he will miss Clearwater, he and his wife are excited to retire near family in Leduc, Alta. (Submitted photo)

Clearwater RCMP member headed for Wild Rose country

A/Cpl. Anderson has over 45 years of experience as an officer

After about four years in Clearwater, Reserve RCMP A/Cpl. James Anderson will be leaving the local detachment for Leduc, Alta. — but not for the weather, he said. He and his wife, Roxanne, are headed for Wild Rose Country.

While they’ll miss the scenery, people and outdoor adventures in Clearwater, he and Roxanne, who is an Alberta sheriff, are looking forward to retirement around family.

“The detachment here really works hard for the community,” said A/Cpl. Anderson, adding his last day is March 10. “It has been a pleasure to be a part of that over the last year. I will really miss working here.”

A/Cpl. Anderson joined the RCMP in 1975 and since then has worked in many cities and towns across Canada, including Montreal, Que., during the Olympic games in 1976, B.C. and the Northwest Territories. He hasn’t always served as an officer for the RCMP, as he left to join the Edmonton Police Service five years after joining the RCMP. He stayed as a member of EPS for 20 years before going back to the RCMP in 2001.

Sgt. Grant Simpson, Clearwater RCMP detachment commander, said A/Cpl. has “been a phenomenal addition to our detachment and community…he will me very much missed.”

A/Cpl. Anderson took over for Mark Labossiere when he retired last July.

Though A/Cpl. Anderson retired in 2016, he joined the RCMP’s Reserve program. With the Reserves, retired or former police officers volunteer to fill vacancies at various detachments. This allowed A/Cpl. Anderson to travel throughout B.C. and the N.W.T. on a part-time basis.

Over the last few years, he has filled vacancies in Barriere, Grand Forks, Clearwater, the N.W.T. and on Vancouver Island.

While he has many memorable experiences with the Clearwater detachment, he said some were a bit more notable.

A suspect was apprehended at a domestic disturbance call and was resisting arrest. He proceeded pull out his pepper spray with winter gloves on, and aimed at the suspect, who pushed his hand away. With his gloved hand stuck on the trigger, A/Cpl. Anderson ended up getting himself instead.

“Luckily, we are trained for that, but it really stung!” he said.

He also recalls a time when members of the community in Avola rallied together to assist in apprehending an out-of-town suspect and his girlfriend who had stolen a pick-up truck from Barriere, and an RV trailer from the Okanagan. They couple was tracked down a forest service road, and A/Cpl. Anderson made the arrests when the group caught them driving our of the service road.

He said he had “no doubt the suspects thought twice about any resistance” as half a dozen people stood alongside him.

“As a detachment, we would like to thank James for everything that he has contributed to us, and wish he and his wife Roxanne all the best on this new adventure,” said Sgt. Simpson.

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