While many of us make New Year’s plans and resolutions, RCMP Staff Sgt. Roger Plamondon is packing his bags and preparing to spend 2012 in a whole new country.
Plamondon is one of 17 police officers across Canada shortlisted for a position with the United Nations, to complete a one-year mission in Sudan. If it goes ahead as planned, Plamondon will fly to Ottawa Jan. 3 for orientation and then it’s off to Sudan Jan. 14.
“They haven’t said specifically what we’re going to be doing there, but there are some police officers there at the moment, and right now, what they’re doing there is helping build capacity with the Sudanese police officers, and the key roles are guiding, mentoring and advising them,” he said.
Other duties will include keeping the peace, working to improve safety and security and looking at specialized training for Sudanese officers.
This will not be Plamondon’s first mission with the UN. In 1989, he was part of Canada’s very first UN mission to Namibia. Then, in 1993-94, Plamondon participated in a mission to former Yugoslavia.
In addition to his 20-plus years in service to police detachments across Canada, Plamondon has 10 years experience training with the RCMP in field coaching. He has also spent time training members across Canada and worked for the Canadian International Development Agency.
He has spent the last two and a half years at the Ladysmith detachment and says while he is excited about the new opportunities in his career, he is sad to be leaving what he feels is a great environment in Ladysmith.
“I’ve been blessed to have worked in such a beautiful community; the lifestyle is fantastic,” Plamondon said. “The community spirit is incredible and I see it on a day to day basis with our Speedwatch and COPS volunteers and at our community policing station.”