Elk Valley RCMP Staff Sergeant, Will Thien. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Elk Valley RCMP Staff Sergeant says goodbye

Elk Valley RCMP Staff Sergeant Will Thien will be leaving his post to pursue his career elsewhere, after five years of service in the Elk Valley.

Originally from Malaysia, Thien had a dream of becoming a police officer. He eventually fulfilled his dream when he came to Canada, and worked in many units across B.C., including major crimes in the lower mainland, throughout the past 21 years.

“The truth is, (it is) bittersweet,” he said.

“I’m excited to move on to the next chapter in my career. But at the same time though, the East Kootenay, Elk Valley, it’s a place that feels like home… it’s been one of my happiest (deployments).”

Thien considers the people in the Elk Valley, decent people. He enjoys that people greet each other here.

“I have to say that the best part of my job in the Elk Valley, are the people,” he said.

“People know who you are, people are friendly to you, people actually have a conversation with you. You’re not just some guy in a uniform.”

He is still in awe that people pay thousands to visit the woods and mountains here, and he was privileged enough to call this unique place his backyard since September of 2012.

Living in New Westminster for many years while deployed in the lower mainland, Thien would have to drive four or five hours to reach something even slightly resembling the Elk Valley.

From a policeman’s perspective, Thien considers the Elk Valley very unique. For a small town, he sees Fernie expanding at a very fast rate. Many mentalities of the city are being blended with small-town mentalities, and he sees it create an interesting dynamic.

Thien will be taking up another position with the RCMP, this time, in the armory of the training academy. This will be a shock to Thien, as he will be transferring from fully operational, to mostly administrative work. However, Thien made sure that this new job will still give him the opportunity to do something meaningful,

Thien admitted that being a police officer is hard work. Many days are good, but also many days are bad.

“It will be a much needed break,” he said.

Thien will be missed by the Elk Valley communities. Best of luck, Will!

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