Port Hardy’s acting detachment commander has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for his leadership skills and commitment to law enforcement.
Corporal Christopher Voller was named by the IACP as one of the 40 under 40 awardees for 2020, noting he has been “drawn to helping others, volunteering as a teen and joining the RCMP Auxiliary at age 19. As one of the several unit’s he oversees, Corporal Voller was placed in charge of the Port Hardy Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment’s Indigenous Policing Services (IPS) portfolio because of his strong leadership, communication style, and relationship-building skills. Corporal Voller feels a passion for serving indigenous populations and believes you can effect tangible change in small communities with enough time, effort, and patience.”
According to the IACP’s release, Corporal Voller aims “to bring proactive, culturally sensitive policing to the local indigenous communities and to improve relations between indigenous people, the RCMP, and the criminal justice system, which is a challenge due to a historical mistrust of the police. He has implemented several initiatives to rebuild and improve community-police relationships. He completed a performance improvement plan focusing on cultural knowledge enhancement with the Port Hardy Detachment members. He has also been the catalyst for a North Island Indigenous Court service and is the detachment’s Violence in Relationship Coordinator, having investigated numerous domestic and sexual assaults and created and delivered proactive, preventative education within the communities.”
He has also taken steps to recognize the regional bands’ cultures and language, adding their logos to the police truck and detachment entrance and acquiring names tags that read “police” in Kwak’wala.
In addition, Voller successfully obtained money through grants to purchase sports equipment for local indigenous youth, sleeping mattresses for families in need, and food for community barbeques.
“I believe that people deserve safe communities… I don’t lose sight that every person we deal with has their own story as to what led them to us, and I want more for them,” said Voller. “There are still many things that we can be proud of happening with the amazing community members we have the privilege to serve and grow friendships with.”
Voller added he wanted to mention the award is “a wonderful reflection on all the citizens of the North Island communities and our detachment members we have up here. It’s been the efforts of many great community members and police officers posted here that grew us to this point now; though we still have much work to continue. My Chiefs/brothers, Hiłamas Henderson and Willie Walkus, and I are estatic we have the opportunity to help inspire more relationships and partnerships at such a level. Gilakas’la.”
Voller also received an Award of Valour in 2019 at the 38th annual Police Honours Night for heroically jumping onto a moving fishing boat in order to gain control of it and assess the unresponsive operator.
Voller has been stationed in the North Island areas for nearly 10 years now, splitting his time working in the communities of Port McNeill and Port Hardy.
– with files from International Association of Chiefs of Police