The top cop on the Sunshine Coast will soon be heading into retirement.
“This old horse is going out to pasture,” Staff Sgt. Herb Berdahl told the policing committee on April 28. “July 4 is my last day on the job. I did that specifically because I figured there’d be fireworks somewhere.”
Sgt. Mike McCarthy will be temporarily in charge of the Sunshine Coast RCMP detachment after Berdahl departs, and the search for his replacement has already commenced, he said.
Berdahl was born and raised on the Coast and started his policing career 37 years ago as an auxiliary constable in Gibsons. He took over as detachment commander in 2010.
“It’s been a great run,” he told the committee. “Not many RCMP members have the opportunity to come back to their home community. It’s been a great opportunity to come back and do a bit of payback to the community.”
Among the highlights of his command, last fall Berdahl and the detachment received the District Commander’s Certificate of Appreciation for their crime reduction efforts in 2012. That year, the Sunshine Coast was the only detachment within the Lower Mainland region to record a significant reduction in crime, with break and enters down 48 per cent, mischief complaints by 35 per cent, theft from vehicles by 30 per cent, property crime by 29 per cent and violent crime by 10 per cent.
Other highlights under Berdahl’s watch were last summer’s RCMP Musical Ride, which wowed RCMP brass by drawing more than 4,000 spectators, and the opening of the new community policing office in Gibsons in late 2012.
At the April 28 policing committee meeting, Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board chair Garry Nohr presented Berdahl with a plaque of appreciation on behalf of the SCRD.
Berdahl noted that the committee hasn’t seen the last of him yet. “I’ll come back and torment you one more time,” he said.
The committee’s next meeting is June 23.
© Coast Reporter