On February 25, 2016 it was announced that Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt.) Mark Wielgosz is the new Detachment Commander for the Chestermere RCMP Detachment. I sat down with S/Sgt. Mark Wielgosz to get to know him and discuss his new appointment.
Originally from Edmonton, AB, S/Sgt. Mark Wielgosz spent most of his growing up years living in a variety of locations between Edmonton and British Columbia. The decision to join the RCMP was one that came from a long standing interest in policing. “It had always been a long standing interest of mine but nothing I really seriously pursued. It was always something that was in the back of my mind. At one point, which was a bit of a turning point, a co-worker of mine, his wife was a member in Kamloops, and one night at dinner we had a discussion about applying for the force and she encouraged me to seriously pursue it. So I kept my ears open for an information session, one was being held in Kamloops – I went and 10 months later I was in depo being trained as a police officer”.
Since then, his 15 year career has taken him to six different locations with the first ten years serving in British Columbia and then back in Alberta and now serving in Chestermere for the past year.
Speaking of what he sees here in Chestermere, S/Sgt. Mark Wielgosz states, “typically the crimes and the people who commit them are fairly common no matter where you go. I can tell you that each place I’ve been to and even other detachments I’ve travelled to, even being a Major Crimes Investigator, each area comes with its own bit of crime types and crime levels and different issues that you’re dealing with. Chestermere is its own unique place, just like any other place, we’ve got our own challenges here that we face and certainly areas that we do look towards as far as crime levels that we’re aggressively targeting and ensure that they remain manageable, and if not, reducing them to the point where, hopefully, they are close to being non-existent”.
Detachment Commander, as S/Sgt. Mark Wielgosz explained, “The role, as far as I see it, is just a title. I’m responsible for the policing and public safety here in Chestermere. As far as the policing is concerned, I’m the person that’s responsible for that here. What comes with that is: overall direction and supervision of our operations here with this detachment. Everybody here plays a specific role – starting from the ground and working their way up. Ultimately, our front line members are out there doing all the heavy lifting and all of the work in the community – namely our Constables, the ones that you see in the vehicles, doing patrols and answering calls day to day. As far as my role and how it relates to that, I chose the direction that we go with respect to our crime reduction initiatives, what our priorities are for the year and consultations with the community stakeholders as well as the overall operations of the detachment”.
“Where we lay our priorities is always changing. In my role, I conduct internal and external scans. Internally – we take a look at what our crime statistics are, what our members are typically facing, where we believe our problem areas are and what our higher priority crimes seem to be within the community. Externally – include speaking with city council to see what their view or what they believe is important areas for us to pay attention to, we’re also open to hearing from other sources like the Citizens On Patrol, the schools, etc. Once we’ve done both of those scans, I sit down and take a look at how this fits in line with our divisional priorities as well as national priorities and we come up with how we’re going to make it personal to Chestermere”.
The Detachment Commander position became open in Chestermere in August 2015 when S/Sgt. Glenn Henry relocated to the Lethbridge area. S/Sgt. Mark Wielgosz was then named acting Detachment Commander while the long and extensive process of finding a permanent person for the job was conducted. “As this is a country wide process, applicants are thoroughly screened, tested and extensive interviews are conducted and it is a very lengthy process”, explains the new Commander.
I touched based with former Chestermere Detachment Commander, S/Sgt. Glenn Henry, “The Chestermere RCMP Detachment is presently celebrating the tenth year of policing in Chestermere. For six of those ten years I had the privilege of being the Detachment Commander. The RCMP, with the input from City of Chestermere, selected the latest Detachment Commander, Staff Sergeant Mark Wielgosz. I am very pleased Mark was chosen. I am confident he has the skills and the passion to be a great Detachment Commander.”
Although S/Sgt. Mark Wielgosz and his family reside in Strathmore, they have really enjoyed getting involved in the Chestermere community and taking in all our city has to offer. “Spending time with my family, we enjoy camping in the mountains that are close by and especially in the summer time we get out and enjoy all the parks and recreation that Chestermere has to offer. We found ourselves many times over at Anniversary Park, here for Canada Day, the Water festival as well. Even though we live in Strathmore, we participate a lot in the community events that we have here”.
“I’ve been serving here for a year now and I’ve got to see exactly how close a community Chestermere is and that suits my style of policing. The public here have been very positive and supportive as well as the stakeholders by way of city council, our local principals at our schools. I’ve been here for a year and I’ve been very happy with the work that’s been going on here. I’ve got ideas for the future and I think that Chestermere is going to be a long term placement for myself and my family. I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to the future and thankful for the opportunity to be Chestermeres Detachment Commander”.