Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice
Constable Doug Sokoloski speaks to Rotary Club
|Constable Doug Sokoloski|
C. Davis photo
Sokoloski said he was born and raised near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. After 10 years with Fish and Wildlife in Saskatchewan he joined the RCMP. He spent six years policing in the Raymond/Magrath area and five more in Fort MacMurray before coming to Pincher Creek in 2007. The MD of Pincher Creek approached the RCMP about hiring their own bylaw officer and "I was lucky enough to get this position, and it's a job that is molded for me," he said.
"Most people rarely need the police. Unfortunately, this job is very paper intensive, so when we deal with the 5% of the population that is criminal, all our time is sucked up with that."
He said he'd written about 2500 tickets in the last three years. Of particular concern for him is the number of people who pass through the hamlet of Beaver Mines at high speed.
The "Beaver Mines Coffee Crew" apparently refers to him, affectionately, as "Deputy Dawg" or "Officer Talkalotski".
Constable Sokoloski talked about how the famous video incident came about.
"Right adjacent to the forest access road I was on, probably 50 feet off, a set of drums was set up. Not very often you see that. Nobody was around there." When he got out to investigate, he realised there were some people about 100 feet away.
"I said 'Hey, who's drums are these?' One guy was kinda sheepish, and I said 'get over here' and asked him 'Are these your drums?'". When the individual applied in the affirmative, Sokoloski said "Let's jam."
"The look on his face was priceless."
"In the meantime, this fella from Lethbridge, Shawn Salburg, who works at LCC, started shooting us (with a video camera), and I didn't know that was happening. I chatted them up after that."
"Three days later, I start getting calls from Alberta saying your famous, you're on YouTube. It's at around 900,000 hits now, most of which was in the first ten days. It went viral. It was amazing the comments that came out of there, like 'only in Canada, a real cool cop, we don't have that here'. A lot of positive press for the RCMP, a lot of positive comments, internally. We are usually in the press for bad stuff." He said he ended up doing a total of 27 interviews about the incident. It was a media frenzy for the entire month of July.
One Rotary wag said "You're one of the only cops with your own beat, huh?"
"It wasn't out of the ordinary as far as our daily activities go," Sokoloski explained. I do teach D.A.R.E. at Lundbreck School so the stuff that we do in the playground before and after classes is very similar."
As to living in Pincher Creek, he said he and his family were "Very happy to be here. When we came out here 5 years ago we could have the choice of anywhere in Canada. Climate, cost of living, crime rates, access to the outdoors, we chose here based on all those factors."
At the conclusion of his talk Rotary member Lynn Brasnett presented Constable Sokoloski with a certificate reflecting a donation in his name to PolioPlus.
Constable Sokoloski just doing his rock 'n roll duty
Local RCMP Constable goes viral on YouTube
Chillin' In The Woods put the "Rock" in RCMP for the Pincher Creek Parade
|Tom Holoboff and Doug Thornton|
C. Davis photo
Doug Thornton was the first President of the Rotary Club of Pincher Creek. "Our club has had now 14 presidents," he said. "The Past President's Pin has a small diamond in the center, and distinguishes the wearer from other Rotarian's for their service," he explained, showing his own pin as an example.
"I would like to ask Tom Holoboff, our past President, to please come up here and accept with thanks from the club, a Past Presidents Pin, with a diamond in the middle."
"Thank you for picking up the torch and getting us through the last year of Rotary, and for the time and effort you put into it," Thornton concluded.
Holoboff also introduced exchange student Iris Wang to the Rotarians. Click here for more about that.
2013 Rotary Career Opportunity Scholarship
The Rotary Club of Pincher Creek Career Opportunity Scholarships ($800) will be awarded to up to three qualified students, one each from Matthew Halton School, St. Michael’s School , and Livingstone School.
To learn more about the 2013 Rotary Career Opportunity Scholarship program click here.