Supt. Shawna Baher is the new officer in charge of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

New Vernon RCMP top cop on the job

Supt. Shawna Baher arrives at Vernon-North Okanagan detachment from Surrey

Shawna Baher remembers the day, growing up in Sparwood, in B.C.’s East Kootenays, a woman police officer was assigned to her hometown.

That’s when Baher became drawn to policing.

“She showed me it could be a great career for a woman,” said Supt. Baher, the new officer in charge of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment, who began her duties Monday.

“In Sparwood, you either leave or you work at the mine (Teck-Elkview operations, one of five steel-making coal operations located in the Elk Valley). Joining the RCMP has given me a chance to see the country and learn a second language.”

Baher has spent 26 years with the RCMP. She has worked in Nanaimo, Duncan, Penticton and was most recently in Surrey, where she was the officer in charge of proactive enforcement. She led the detachment’s drug team, property and auto section, criminal intelligence, priority target offenders and gang and traffic enforcement.

She also did undercover work.

“She brings a great deal of policing experience with crime reduction units, general duty watch command and drugs and general investigation,” said City of Vernon Chief Administrative Officer Will Pearce, who introduced Baher to Vernon council Monday.

“She will be a great officer in charge of our detachment.”

Part of Baher’s duties on opening day was attending one of the longest regular council meetings in recent history, at six-and-a-half hours, more than half of it dedicated to dealing with 46 recommendations about making the community and business community safer from the Activate Safety Task Force.

There was also a nearly two-hour presentation from the Social Planning Council of North Okanagan where Baher heard about the latest homeless census count for Greater Vernon, and the issues surrounding discarded needles.

“I’m committed to assisting the community with its issues and working with the community to work on these issues proactively,” said Baher. “These are community issues, not just police issues, and we should work together.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Another public meeting slated for Armstrong golf course plan

Proposed development for Royal York Golf Course drew more than 250 people over first three days

Clubs contribute to Greater Vernon-based cycling program

Cycling Without Age gives seniors free rides, but not in 2020 due to pandemic

Vernon’s Tolko Industries backs Orange Shirt Day contest

Art contest is open to kids from kindergarten to Grade 12

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Most Read