The Hope RCMP recently welcomed a new staff sergeant. Karol Rehdner (pronounced Karl,) graciously met up with The Hope Standard to discuss his arrival in October, and how he’s settling into the community.
Rehdner, holds over 25 years of policing experience in the Lower Mainland, including a history in patrol, drug work, general duty emergency and in various supervisory roles.
“I am a detachment commander with the amalgamation of Hope, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Boston Bar,” he said.
His duties include city police officer (cpo,) dealing with the public, and overseeing the details of his current detachment members.
“My tasking is wide and varied,” according to the self-confessed Toronto Maple Leaf fan. The Toronto native and husband and father of two, is an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys hiking on the many trails in and around Hope.
Rehdner spearheaded the human resources e-division in Surrey, before deciding on taking a higher management position here in Hope; citing a challenge, and the ability to stretch an original skill-set he acquired over a lifetime career, to the local detachment.
“It’s an exciting time for me, and it’s a great learning experience — I’m learning more and more every day, it’s a huge learning curve,” he said.“It was on my bucket list to have a command position. I spent over 11 years in supervisory roles and I was ready to take on a strong leadership position,” he said.
Policing is policing, according to Rehdner, and the roles and responsibilities of officers haven’t changed.
“If you’re on the wrong side of the law, you’re on the wrong side of the law,” he said. It’s still the same concerns — you walk through communities and see the ills of society.”
Hope is a safe community, in the opinion of the first generation Canadian, who is of German origin — his parents immigrated from Europe in the 60s.
Rehdner joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1990.
“It was what I wanted to do,” said Rehdner. I remember being in Ottawa at Parliament Hill in Grade 8 and the visual of a mounted police officer got me hooked.”
There are 18 people in his current detachment and Rehdner enjoys working with his colleagues, especially the energy and enthusiasm they present on a daily basis.
“It’s hard work and people need guidance, but if we can learn from each other, while using our independent skills, it will truly be beneficial to everyone.” he said.
Rehdner has been hands on in the community during his time in Hope and plans to continue to get to know everyone. So far, the community service groups have made an impression on the crime fighting patriarch, as well as the positivity of everyone in Hope.
“I don’t hide — if I say it, it’s what I believe, it’s my commitment, vision and core values in the RCMP,” he told the Hope Standard.
The visual presence of the RCMP can have a calming influence on people. When people see a professional in a uniform, it tends to impart a feeling of security, knowing that officials are on the case.
“When people see a police car, they immediately have a sense of relief, and a feeling of safety,” said Rehdner of the feeling of security a community can have when they visually locate officers patrolling on duty.
“There are certain aspects to criminality, things have to be done the Canadian way, but it’s about being challenged by questions, and reaching an agreement and approaching problems as they present themselves,” he said. “It’s been an interesting ride so far, and I’m enjoying developing positive, symbiotic relationships with the community.”
Rehdner is amiable, approachable and challenges the community to look beyond the uniform, and to be open to a cup of tea or a good conversation.
“Our job is to help others, it’s so much more than arresting someone, it goes beyond that. The service is magnified in a smaller community, where, we are more tied to the people. In Vancouver it’s fragmented, but in Hope, it’s the same ideal and that’s to serve and assist. It’s been fantastic so far, this is a great community, and I look forward to the years ahead.”
The University of Toronto alumnus, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history and politics, because it was a field that interested him. He then joined up with the RCMP and started out in Regina, before being posted to the Lower Mainland. With his wife Deb, by his side over the past 25 years, Rehdner has enjoyed a stellar career, while raising their two children Megan and Kyle, who are both currently students at UFV.