In his 23 years as a volunteer auxiliary constable with the Vernon RCMP, John Kosmino always relied on riding with an active RCMP member.
Kosmino, owner of Hilltop Subaru, has given back to the current auxiliaries by showcasing their own dedicated vehicle.
Kosmino’s shop has donated the painting for, and placed decals on, Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Supt. Reg Burgess’ 2006 Chevrolet Equinox which has been turned over to the auxiliaries for their dedicated use.
The former grey car has been repainted white and decorated with the RCMP logo, all done at Hilltop.
“This is a gesture on our part to give back to the community and support the local authorities,” said Kosmino, who officially handed over the keys to Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP auxiliaries Dale Fennell and Darrel Wihnon, as Burgess looked on.
Fennell had the pleasure of driving the new vehicle in the annual Vernon Winter Carnival parade.
“It’s a nice ride,” said Fennell, a 29-year auxiliary member based out of Enderby. “It’s nice to have a vehicle dedicated for our own use, and a vehicle that’s readily available so we don’t have to hunt down a member.”
Wihnon said the Equinox will give auxiliaries a bigger presence in the North Okanagan communities.
“It will help us with community events and help with our mobility to get to certain events,” said Wihnon. “It will help us when we do school programs and it will be easy now for us to transport our equipment.”
Burgess praised the work of every one of the detachment’s auxiliary officers.
“They do tremendous work in our communities and help us a lot,” said Burgess.
The auxiliaries did have their own vehicle once before, but it was taken out of service due to wear and tear.