New member Paul Philps told us he was born in Richmond, BC, but grew up in Leduc & Edmonton, AB, following his father’s career as a pastor. He obtained a degree in Education, with specialties in Social Studies & Physical Education, but unfortunately his graduation coincided with a period where Alberta laid off 1,700 teachers. Paul found work making mattresses for Sealy, & was quickly promoted to lead a crew of 50 people. At age 21, he lost his mother to cancer, & moved to Vancouver, where he got into print sales & sang in a band for several years. He then began accountancy courses, & at age 30 set out to South Korea for a teaching job. Due to visa problems, this job didn’t work out, but he continued his travels to Japan, Australia, New Zealand & China. Upon returning home to the Vancouver area, he met & soon married Heather. After a couple of years in Surrey, & earning his CPA, Paul & Heather moved to her hometown – Vernon, where he found work with RBC Dominion Securities. Their second child was born just a few weeks ago. In addition to Rotary, Paul is involved with JCI & enjoys public speaking competitions.
Past President Janet Green thanks Vernon / North Okanagan RCMP Detachment Commander Supt. Jim McNamara, who has 30 years of experience in policing, primarily in operational and front-line duties. He first came here in 2010, as the Operations Officer, in charge of day-to-day operations. The detachment serves a diverse area including Vernon, Coldstream, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby, Lumby, Falkland and the Splatsin and Okanagan First Nations. Supt. McNamara previously worked in an advisory role for the BC RCMP in its Southeast District office, ensuring RCMP detachments were meeting the expectations of the communities they served. His previous experience also includes watch and operations commands, command of the Tactical Troop, and oversight of crime prevention and victim services for a large Lower Mainland detachment. All his policing service is within BC. He’s integrated the operations of five detachments serving a population of about 82,000 people. His resources include about 100 regular officers, 48 support staff, 17 Auxiliary Constables, 4 Reservists & about 60 volunteers. Policing is expensive! The annual cost of a regular Constable, with benefits & a car, is about $164,000. In 2015, his detachment responded to over 28,000 calls, & held over 2,200 prisoners. His (our) biggest challenge is dealing with property crimes committed by substance abusers, many of whom have untreated mental health issues, due to lack of treatment facilities. He also talked a bit about municipal concerns arising from the requirement that communities of over 5,000 people must pay for 30% of overall policing costs.