New commander at Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment

New commander at Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment

Sgt. Stuart Foster replaces Sgt. Wes Olsen as head of the 11-member detachment

Sgt. Stuart Foster, a 13-year police veteran, is excited to be posted to his first command position.

Foster, who was born in Duncan and is the son of an RCMP officer, is the new commander of the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment, replacing Sgt. Wes Olsen.

He took over the position in March after spending three and half years with the Port Hardy RCMP detachment.

Before that, Foster worked with the Oceanside RCMP where he earned a Meritorious Service Award in 2014 for his part in ending an intoxicated man’s shooting rampage.

He said he was pleased to find a sound and efficient working environment when he took over command of the 11-member police force in Lake Cowichan.

“Lake Cowichan is fantastic, and the office is very well run, which made my transition here easy,” he said.

Foster said that in his first few months here, he has identified a number of programs and initiatives he intends to pursue to make the community safer.

He said one issue he wants to address is traffic enforcement and education in the area.

“The most complaints I get are related to traffic,” Foster said.

“There is a high number of people who come to the area from out of town as tourists, so we need to target traffic enforcement more, including stopping impaired drivers.”

Foster said commercial vehicles, including the many logging trucks on area roads, will likely also be a focus for Lake Cowichan RCMP under his command.

He said partnerships are being formed between the detachment and other agencies, including the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch, South Island Integrated Traffic Services and the Integrated Road Safety Unit from Nanaimo, to help with traffic enforcement in the Lake Cowichan area.

“There’s a perception out there that logging trucks are guilty of lots of infractions, so we shall see if that’s true,” Foster said.

Foster also said he’s pleased to have aboriginal police officer Kelly Allan working with the detachment, and the work he’s doing with local First Nations is invaluable.

“Kelly adds a value-added dimension to our First Nations policing that is much appreciated, and we hope his great work here continues,” he said.