The West Shore RCMP has a new face at the helm.
Insp. Todd Preston recently took over as commander of the detachment in Langford, responsible for the oversight of operational and administrative duties, as well as steering the department’s priorities and balancing those with the priorities of the community.
“I’m obviously ecstatic to be in charge and to be able to steer a ship of this size, and hopefully make an enormous and positive difference in a community like the western communities,” Preston said.
Preston has had a long career working with the RCMP thus far. Growing up in Alberta, many of his family members including his father, brother, uncles and cousins worked for various law enforcement agencies, making it a natural transition for him as well.
After completing a diploma in law enforcement from Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Preston joined the RCMP when he was just 19 years old and was posted to the Red Water detachment, a rural farming community northeast of Edmonton.
Over the years, he’s jumped around to a number of detachments across the country including Alert Bay, Watson Lake in the Yukon and Kimberley, where he and his wife raised their two daughters.
Preston also has a background in drug enforcement. He did undercover work, working in Edmonton and throughout Northern Alberta for several months, and worked in federal drug enforcement on Vancouver Island based out of Nanaimo for three and a half years.
He was eventually posted to the West Shore a couple of years ago, and most recently, worked in the Victoria headquarters, where he was in charge of investigating professional responsibility files, such as internal affairs.
Returning to the detachment on Atkins Road was like a homecoming for Preston.
“I knew the people, the community, I love the community,” said Preston, who enjoys playing sports, carpentry, woodworking and fishing in his spare time.
“I know the detachment is running in the right direction. I’d like to get out and speak to some of the business owners and people in the community and get their perspective.”
Since Preston started the position, he has spent the last week getting his bearings and is working towards getting things on track. In the future he hopes to look at the efficiencies and inefficiencies of the detachment.
The biggest challenge he sees is balancing the needs of five municipalities and two First Nations reserves with the resources that are available.
“You’re trying to balance the needs of all those communities and sometimes the needs are the same, and sometimes they’re not. What may be significant or important for the Highlands may not be to Colwood or View Royal,” he said. “It’s balancing the resources to accommodate everybody’s needs.”
Preston takes over for Insp. Larry Chomyn, who retired recently.