As he settles into his new post here at the Houston/Granisle RCMP, Sergeant Stephen Rose says he feels very much at home.
Born and raised in Norris Arm, a Newfoundland forestry town of about 1,000, Rose says he chose Houston because of its size.
If first impressions have it all, he made the right decision.
Neighbours dropped by to say “hi” to him and his wife within a day of his move, he said, and his two kids quickly found playmates for an afternoon bike ride.
Now his twelfth year with the RCMP, Rose came to Houston from Squamish, where he led between seven and eight constables, a four-man watch command, and was supervisor of municipal traffic.
Before that post, Rose worked as a plainclothes officer in Salmon Arm, where he mostly investigated drug crimes and repeat offenders, sometimes busting marijuana grow-ops of up to 5,000 plants.
Rose also investigated a series of murders, a year and a half-long assignment that ended in successful convictions.
While in Salmon Arm, Rose became a commanding officer with the B.C. Air Cadets, and taught cadets for one summer at the Victoria training centre.
Some of his students went on to become pilots or join a military college, he said.
Since getting married, Rose said he’s picked up a new hobby—running marathons.
“She sort of roped me into it,” he said, laughing and shaking his head.
When his wife was asked by friends if she would start training for a half marathon, he told her, “‘Yeah, go ahead. If you can do that, if you can train and actually run it, I’ll run one with you.’”
After she did it, Rose lived up to his word. Together, they ran a half marathon in Las Vegas, this time with another 44,000 people.
As Rose gets settled here in Houston, he is already talking about helping out the local cadets, and maybe joining the curling club.
“My biggest hobby right now is my kids,” he said, adding that he hopes to show them the quadding, sledding and ice fishing he grew up with in Newfoundland.
Rose also wants to foster good community ties at the Houston/Granisle RCMP.
“The key is to make sure that people come forward and trust that we can handle whatever it is that they come to us with,” he said.
Reducing problems with alcohol will be one top priority, he said.
“But at the end of the day, what we want to do is simply enjoy our time here, enjoy the north, raise our kids—because it is a very safe community overall.”