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Lab West RNC gets new top cop

Insp. Tom Warren, new commanding officer for the Lab West RNC detachment.
Insp. Tom Warren, new commanding officer for the Lab West RNC detachment. - Submitted

The RNC’s Labrador West detachment has a new commanding officer.
Insp. Tom Warren is now on the ground in the Big Land and is looking forward to his posting.
A 27-year veteran of the RNC, Warren spent the first decade of his policing career working patrol services on the province’s Northeast Avalon. 
He was then seconded to the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team. A Joint Force Operation (JFO) between the RNC and RCMP, Warren worked out of RNC headquarters in St. John’s.
After seven years in that position, he worked in the force’s major crime unit and in June 2014 was promoted from constable to sergeant while working in the unit.
His promotion to inspector came in November 2017.
The RNC in Labrador is responsible for Labrador West.
One of the challenges of policing in Labrador, Warren said, is the extreme weather conditions where temperatures drop well below -40.
“Recreational vehicles are used a lot here and, if a couple of kids go out skidooing on a Friday afternoon and they go missing, it’s not something you put off for three or four hours. It’s something that requires immediate attention,” Warren said.
Labrador West has been in the news over the past year or so for its high number of suicides. In a story published in “The Telegram” on Nov. 24, 2016, reporter James McLeod noted that Health Minister John Haggie confirmed in the House of Assembly that five people had taken their lives in Labrador West in the past eight months.
Warren said the RNC is working closely with the Labrador-Grenfell Regional Health Authority in training members on how to respond to calls involving mentally unstable individuals.
“We are putting crisis intervention training in place where health professionals and police offices in Labrador West will train together to address mental health issues,” he said.
Warren has spent the last decade of his career mentoring and training junior officers. It’s something he really enjoys, he said, and his posting in Labrador gives him an opportunity to continue in that role. It’s one of the reasons he applied for the position, he said.
The position of officer-in-charge for Labrador West is also an opportunity to further his own career, he said.
Warren is also well known for his community involvement. He is president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association – a position he’s held since 2014. (His son Brett plays basketball for the University of Lethbridge in Alberta).
He is eager, he said, to encourage officers in this detachment to be as active as they can in their community endeavours.
Warren said his posting to Labrador was a position he applied for through a competition process.
His wife Sharon Warren was also promoted from sergeant to inspector in November 2017. She is now officer-in-charge, property and economic crimes section, criminal investigation division, Northeast Avalon region.
Sgts. Paul Roche and Alex Brennan were also promoted to inspectors.
Inspectors Shawn O’Reilly and Ed Oates were promoted to superintendents while Insp. Paul Woodruff moved into the position of deputy chief of police.
In recognizing the promotions, RNC Chief Joe Boland congratulated the seven commissioned officers and welcomed them to his management team.
“They have each demonstrated their tremendous passion and dedication to their community and have an enormous amount of knowledge and experience. Through continued partnerships with our stakeholders, these new commissioned officers will ensure that we continue to build safe and healthier communities,” Boland said in a release about the promotions.
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Warren said the timing for his move to Labrador was right for his family. He couldn’t have done it earlier, he said, but his four children are now young adults in their twenties.
“That was a huge aspect of my decision-making, that my kids aren’t kids anymore. My wife and children are all really supportive of the move as they have been throughout my policing career. I’m not doing this just for myself; I’m doing it for the future of my family as well,” he said.
danette@nl.rogers.com
 

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