Jim Patenaude is so new to the community he doesn’t even have business cards yet.
And, when he finally gets those cards from his employer, the City of Vernon, he’ll have extra duties to have printed on them.
Patenaude was hired to be the new manager of the City of Vernon RCMP Safe Communities Unit, and he was introduced to the media that way March 14.
Later in the week, however, it was announced that with city restructuring, Patenaude will be overseeing the city’s new protective services department, which encompasses bylaw enforcement, RCMP municipal employees and community policing.
“We needed someone who is already working closely with the police,” said Leon Gous, Vernon’s chief administrative officer.
Patenaude, who took over the safe communities unit in early March, is a strong advocate for community policing.
Coming from the Vancouver Police Department, where he has spent his entire career, Patenaude brings an impressive background to his new job.
“I was most recently sergeant in charge of community policing in Vancouver, responsible for nine community police offices in Vancouver,” said Patenaude.
“We did things like Block Watch and Citizen Crime Watch.”
Prior to that, Patenaude was a community policing constable in downtown Vancouver, where his main mode of transportation was a bicycle.
A native of Penticton and Kelowna, who went to college in Kelowna, before his police career took off, Patenaude is happy to be back in the Okanagan, and happy to be with a community that takes pride in community policing.
“The advantage of community policing is that it engages the community in policing,” he said.
“Vernon does a very good job of that already, and we’ll be doing some more.”
Patenaude spent nearly 27 years with the Vancouver Police Department.