After 33 years as a police officer and about five years as commander of the Blackfalds RCMP detachment, Staff Sgt. Ken Morrison is calling it a career.
Jan. 16 will be Morrison’s last day as a police officer.
“It’s been a pleasure and an honour to be the detachment commander and watching the community change over the years and see it grow so quickly,” said Morrison.
“Right now retirement is kind of surreal. When I announced it to council the other day I didn’t quite realize how emotional it would be to verbalize I’m retiring. This has been my life for 33 years – it’s been a great career,” he said.
Morrison had his first RCMP posting in Carberry, Man. in 1985.
After a few years, he was stationed in the Northwest Territories, where he worked for 21 years.
It was in the Northwest Territories where Morrison worked on the biggest case of his career. In 1992, nine men were killed in a Yellowknife goldmine when a rail car hit a deliberately set bomb. Morrison was one of the main investigators, working on the case until the man responsible was prosecuted in 1995.
The case “gained worldwide attention. We had investigators from all over North America to assist. It was the biggest one I’ve ever worked on – there’s been books written about that one,” Morrison said.
About five years ago, Morrison began contemplating changing locations and saw there was a position open Blackfalds.
“I researched the area, saw it was a fast-growing community in a beautiful location,” he said.
Morrison applied, was interviewed by council and was hired.
Over his five years in Blackfalds, Morrison said he is most proud of building community engagement.
“We’ve built a relationship between the counties and the municipalities as an RCMP organization that is second to none.
“Getting the cooperation of the community and having them assists us in making the community safe for everybody was huge,” said Morrison.
There has been a tremendous increase in people reporting suspicious activity, which helps the police do their job, Morrison said.
Morrison said he was also happy to see an increase in staff at the Blackfalds detachment; two provincially funded positions, two municipal employees, with a third soon to be hired, and two new enhanced positions funded by Lacombe and Red Deer Counties will be added in the near future.
Morrison said he doesn’t plan on keeping his feet up for too long, but will enjoy his retirement in the meantime.
“The first thing I’m most looking forward to is sitting back and taking a deep breath … and I’ll probably grow a little bit of a beard,” he said.