Oak Bay police Const. Jennifer Gibbs walks down Oak Bay Avenue with interim Chief Derek Egan. The acting department head would like to see a return to police foot patrols in the village.

Oak Bay police Const. Jennifer Gibbs walks down Oak Bay Avenue with interim Chief Derek Egan. The acting department head would like to see a return to police foot patrols in the village.

Retired Saanich police chief takes temporary post in Oak Bay

There’s a new sheriff in Oak Bay – at least for the next six months.

Retired Saanich police chief Derek Egan is running Oak Bay’s police department, until a new chief is hired to replace former Chief Const. Ron Gaudet, who retired Jan. 14.

Egan retired 18 months ago after 35 years with the Saanich department. With only one other non-union manager on the 26-member Oak Bay force – Dep. Chief Kent Thom (who is in the running for the chief’s job) – Egan says his job is to make sure the work gets done.

“I want to do it and do it to a high standard,” he says.

Egan, 62, has a Masters degree in leadership and training and has been to the Middle East eight times in the past 10 years to teach policing to forces there, most recently Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Oak Bay, he says, is fortunate in that its citizens respect and trust its police force. But he thinks more could be done to reinforce that perception.

Oak Bay officers have a lot of time in which to carry out their duties, meaning they can take extra care with residents who are the victims of property crime, the most common type of crime in the municipality, he says. Not only can officers attend to calls, they can spend time with victims dealing with resulting trauma. They could also be making contact with nearby residents when there’s been a crime in the neighbourhood.

“All these kinds of things serve to provide a sense within a community that the police are there and are vigilant,” he says.

Egan added that police should be visible in the community and doesn’t discount that more officers may be seen in future out of patrol cars and on foot and bike patrols.

“When you’re an organization that has the gift of time to do those kinds of things, driving around waiting for the big one to happen is not an option.”

Egan was born in London, England but lived in Canada and Germany as his father was in the military, first with the British Army and then as a senior non-commissioned officer with the Canadian Army. Egan lived in Ottawa and joined the Canadian Army in 1966. In 1974 he joined the Saanich police as a constable.

He met his future wife, Marcia Johnston, here – they’ve been married 32 years. They have two adult children, Erin and Torin. He and his wife have lived on the same rural Saanich acreage for 30 years. In his spare time, Egan raises chickens, geese and bees. He’s currently reading Arthur Herman’s To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World.

Oak Bay citizens need to see police as more than something you call upon in times of trouble, he says.

“At the end of the day it’s about instilling a sense of safety.”

vmoreau@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read