Ridge Meadows RCMP’s recently announced officer in charge may be new to the position, but she feels her background has set her up perfectly for the role.
Supt. Wendy Mehat has steadily risen through the ranks of the Mounties in her twenty years with the service.
Her husband is an RCMP officer too, and they are raising daughters in North Langley.
A turning point in her career – she said prepared her for her current role in Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows – occurred in 2017.
“That’s when I worked at the Surrey RCMP detachment,” she said. “And was in a role called community safety and support officer.”
Mehat was responsible for a number of programs including ones overseeing police response to mental health calls, tent encampments, and dealing with vulnerable residents.
“Part of those duties entailed overseeing five separate community response units,” she said.
“They were highly visible, uniformed policing teams that dealt with chronic nuisance repeat calls for service.”
She also oversaw the youth section, diversity unit and Indigenous policing, in addition to operations planning.
“Although Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are a lot smaller in size than Surrey, I do see a lot of similarities in the sense of how the opioid crisis, and the fentanyl crisis has affected our mental health calls for service,” she said.
To combat some of the issues she has seen on the streets of downtown Maple Ridge, Mehat initiated Project Core.
“It’s a tiered model which ensures we provide community policing, outreach, response and enforcement to key critical issues that we as police officers see out in the downtown core,” she said, adding the focus is on more grassroots policing.
“We are ensuring that we’re community oriented, that the public sees our officers making connections with the community, but also being very highly visible.
“That is something that I think is very key and very critical to building trust.”
Success for the new superintendent would see that trust built with all segments of the population, whether that be the business community, the vulnerable people, the homeowners or the youth.
“We want all segments of society to feel comfortable to come by Ridge Meadows detachment to see their police,” Mehat said.
Since joining the Ridge Meadows RCMP six months ago, Mehat has seen a lot she likes about her new workplace and colleagues.
“I think that we have very strong internal working culture, with police officers who are very dedicated to one another, and also very dedicated to their community,” she said.
“I see that many of our police officers are long-standing residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and I do
think that I have felt very accepted and embraced by the members of this detachment.”
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