OUTLOOK - Constable Fraser Cameron is the newest face that people will see out and about as part of the Outlook RCMP force, and the native of big-city Ontario says he's still getting used to the lower-octane feel and the slower-paced environment of small town Canada out here on the Prairies.
But interestingly, the choice to make this his first posting was all Cameron's.
"I was posted here through the RCMP, and I actually placed on my application that I wanted to try a small town community, coming from big-city Canada," he said, sitting down with The Outlook. "I wanted to get out into the rural areas and get some community policing done."
Although Fraser is still getting used to his new surroundings, he gives the Outlook and immediate areas a big thumbs up as far as what they offer people, which is a big change from what he's used to back in Ontario.
"Very different!" he said with a chuckle, when asked if this is a change from what he's used to seeing. "The region where I'm from has more people in three towns than all of Saskatchewan, so having a little bit of elbow room is a breath of fresh air. Talk about fresh air, because there's nothing but fresh air out here, large open fields, and you're not being crowded by towers and people on top of people."
Cst. Cameron is very much a newbie on the job, having only been an officer for a brief time. It was in working with law enforcement officials back home that inspired him to make the plunge and officially join up.
"Five weeks, going on six weeks," he said, asked how long he's been officially 'on the job'. "I'd been working with police in Ontario for a couple of years as an auxiliary with the provincial force out there. That really spurred my want to help the communities, and so I got on with the force."
As for the challenges he faces in his new job, Fraser says he's learning to get his feet wet living in a small town and that he wants to get to know everybody. In a small town area, it's common that a lot of people will know what your story is, but Cameron wants to respond by knowing as much as he can about the people who call Outlook and area home.
"Right now, it's learning how to live in a small community," he said. "Trying to remember that this isn't Toronto where I can just walk down the street at any time of the day and pick up whatever I need. I actually have to plan my outings a little bit more. Professional-wise, I'd say that getting to know the people is a bit of a challenge. That's only because they seem to know me, but I don't know them yet. I'm working on figuring out who everybody is!"
When it comes to the benefits of being an officer, Cameron says he enjoys being out and about and having that visibility with the communities that the RCMP serves every day.
"Just being out in the community," he said. "I I love it. I love having these opportunities to connect with people. We've been to the schools already, and just being out there and really getting to know the community and creating that partnership within each other."
Fraser says there are aspects of policing that some people may not understand, such as believing too much of what they may see on TV.
"Probably," he said. "There are a lot of aspects that people probably relate to something seen on television, things that are more in line with American laws. I think that's a common problem that people often find. When they come to us, they want to do something and we have to say, 'Unfortunately, that's not really how it works'. Works in Hollywood, but not here!"
In Cameron's eyes, it's the rich and deep history of the RCMP that helped drive him to become an officer. It's become a role that he's put himself into so deeply that he couldn't imagine himself doing anything else.
"The history is awesome," he said. "There is so much history in the force, as well as the country because they're so tightly-wound. I couldn't imagine being another officer in another service or force, it's just great."