Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins places the pin on Insp. Jamie Pierce’s uniform to appoint him as VicPD Officer in Charge for the Township of Esquimalt. Photo courtesy Township of Esquimalt

Esquimalt’s new officer in charge returns to community roots

Police Insp. Jamie Pearce wants to continue making connections

Tim Collins/Victoria News Despite a stellar career that’s seen Insp. Jamie Pearce distinguish himself both at home and abroad, his appointment as Officer in Charge of the Esquimalt Division of VicPD could be characterized as a return to his roots. A 28-year veteran of the force, Pearce has received more than his share of honours during his tenure as a peace officer. In 2001 he performed international UN peacekeeping duties in Kosovo, where he was squad leader for an elite Close Protection Team of 10 international police officers, protecting international judges, local politicians, prisoners and prosecutors. That duty earned him the Canadian Peacekeeping Medal and the UN Medal. Pearce also holds the Canadian Police Exemplary Service medal as well as the B.C. Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal of Valour and, last month, he was invested by the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall as a Member of the Order of Merit of Police Forces. But for Pearce, it’s this week’s appointment in Esquimalt that has him smiling. “I have some very deep ties in this community. My mother went to Esquimalt High and my grandmother lived in this community for more than 40 years. A lot of my family work or have worked on the dockyard and I spent a lot of time here when I was young,” he said. Policing is also a part of Pearce’s DNA, as his father was a VicPD officer for nine years and his grandfather was on the force in Saanich before that. “I’m really happy to get to continue with a community policing model here in Esquimalt, building on things like the school liaison officers and our efforts to maintain a continuity with our patrol officers so people can get to know them,” he said. His approach to the community is based upon getting to really know the neighbourhoods and to make himself available to the people so he can hear their concerns first-hand. To that end, Pearce intends to be a regular fixture at community events. “Policing isn’t something that can effectively happen from the top down. I want to be a part of the community and I want to enhance the already positive relationship people in Esquimalt have with their police.” Pearce’s commitment to the community clearly transcends his spoken goals for the job, a fact readily apparent in his plans for the second day of his appointment. On Tuesday afternoon he jumped onto the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike to raise money for the foundation, then attended the community’s Memorial Park Music Fest. “Esquimalt is a very passionate community with a lot of pride,” he said. “My job is to keep the community safe for the wonderful people who make Esquimalt their home, and for the ever-increasing number of people who are visiting the community to discover all the great things we have to offer. “It’s a job I’m proud to do.” editor@vicnews.com