The Columbia Valley’s much esteemed local police leader will be leaving town at some point next year.
Columbia Valley RCMP Sergeant Bob Vatamaniuck has been heading up the local RCMP detachment for more than a year and a half, during which time he quickly developed a reputation as hardworking, friendly and approachable, but a transfer and promotion will see him heading off to Penticton in the Okanagan, likely this coming spring or early summer.
The popular commander made his forthcoming move public during his quarterly RCMP update to Invermere council at council’s Tuesday, November 14th meeting.
Sgt. Vatamaniuck told council the promotion will see him join the senior management team in Penticton and that, although he and his family greatly enjoy living in the Columbia Valley, “it’s hard not to take it (the promotion).”
“The Columbia Valley is everything I want, and we (my family) want, but to stay here until I retire would be to let my career stagnate,” he said, adding that by the time the move is complete he will have served almost two full years in the Valley.
Sgt. Vatamaniuck added that the Valley has been his favourite posting so far in a 21 year career.
“I’ve got two daughters and a wife, and we all really embraced the Columbia Valley. It’s such a great place,” he said. “Don’t be surprised to see me back here (retired) in 12 to 15 years or so.”
Sgt. Vatamaniuck added he anticipates a replacement for the local RCMP detachment commander role arriving some time prior to the busy summer tourist season.