Red Deer’s officer in charge is officially retiring from the RCMP after 28 years and transitioning into a municipal role.
Supt. Scott Tod, 53, will soon become Red Deer’s municipal policing manager.
“Essentially it will be to lead the support staff who work so hard in assisting the RCMP detachment,” he said. “It was an opportunity that presented itself and it is a good fit for me professionally and it’s also a good fit for my family. We have moved so many times and it’s going to be nice to put down some roots – we enjoy the City very much.
“Through my capacity of the officer in charge, I have worked very closely with City administration and City council and I have enjoyed a very good working relationship with them. Because I have that relationship already, I know the people I will be working with and I know the City’s priorities.”
Tod has been in the officer in charge in Red Deer since 2014. He was instrumental in starting the Priority Crimes Task Force which is made up of police officers from Red Deer RCMP General Investigative Section (GIS), Sylvan Lake, Innisfail and Blackfalds RCMP detachments.
“I take credit for making sure it got off the ground and supporting it in my role and getting the resources in place and setting the direction, but there has been a ton of hard work by people on the task force,” he said. “It was something the community needed, it’s been put in place and it’s been extremely successful and has improved safety and we’ve caught a lot of bad guys from not only Red Deer but from surrounding areas.
“It’s been a regional approach that I think in this day and age with policing costs continuing to go up, you can’t just keep going back to City council in any community and continually saying we need more police. You have to look how you can do business better more efficiently and effectively. I think this met those needs as well.”
Tod added since being stationed in Red Deer there have also been some operational efficiencies realized, new approaches to training and new approaches prolific offenders, working and policing the downtown and an improved relationship with City administration and council. “We’ve developed a really strong management team here as well. I think if anything we’ve accomplished developing a really cohesive senior management team at the detachment that works well together.”
As for challenges the police force has faced, Tod said adapting to the ever-changing industry has been a top one.
“It’s like when the first iPhone came out 10 years ago and look at where we are now. The change in technology and innovation in the last 10 years has spiked and police work has been the same way,” he said. “You look at Internet crime, what’s going on in the world with organized crime, you look at the change in case laws that has come out.
“One of the challenges is simply just keeping your detachment and yourself abreast of the current changes and being in a position to take advantage of things so you’re not caught blindsided of the developments. It’s that continual scanning of the internal and external environments.”
Meanwhile, before moving to Red Deer in 2014, Tod was stationed in Wetaskiwin for three years where he was the officer in charge there and before that he was in Merritt, B.C. where he was in charge of that detachment as well.
Tod, who grew up in Edmonton, has been in the RCMP for 28 years and said his interest was sparked for that career path at a young age. “It is really all I wanted to do. I thought about other things but I always wanted to be a policeman and I always wanted to be a Mountie,” he said. “Both sides of my family were ranchers and farmers and I always heard the stories about their relationships with the Mounties and how they were part of the community and well-respected.”
As for hanging his hat after 28 years with the RCMP, Tod said he’ll miss the excitement the job brings.
“I’ll miss the challenge of running a detachment and I’ll miss having a role to play in making the community safer and catching bad guys,” said Tod. “This is the fifth detachment that I have been in charge of since 2002. I’ll miss watching young members develop. They come through the door as fresh faced cadets right out of depot and in two or three years you see the transformation and how they have developed into strong police officers.”
Tod will officially move to his new role as Red Deer’s municipal policing manager in August.