The newest member of the Wadena/ Foam Lake RCMP detachment is Constable Steve Watkins, who recently came into the news office accompanied by Const. Alex (Eddie) Upshall, himself relatively new to the force here. Watkins was only two days into his first assignment, fresh out of Depot in Regina, where RCMP recruits do six months of training before hitting the streets of their initial posting. The two constables, both originally from Newfoundland, will work closely together for the next six months.
Const. Watkins has been living in the Toronto area since he was a boy, and spent the last 12 years as an assistant pastor there. Naturally one wondered what would precipitate such a drastic career change — from the church to the police — but Const. Watkins, who also served as an auxiliary member with the Toronto police, finds that although the two jobs appear quite different on the outside, at heart there are important similarities. Honesty, integrity, professionalism, compassion, accountability and respect are core values of both institutions.
“I was ready for new challenges,” he said. “There was the opportunity to travel, to live in different places and,” he added, “I didn’t want to look back on my life in years ahead and be asking myself ‘What if?’ ”
He took the step into an occupation where, although it may be a different set of laws, it remains his duty to uphold them. The work requires self-discipline and a genuine liking for people, and Const. Watkins appears to have the enthusiasm and energy required to do this extremely demanding job well.
As we say here in the news office, Const. Watkins: Welcome to the fray!