Fast guys tend to walk off the rugby pitch with a clean jersey at the end of a game, simply because opponents have a difficult time catching them.
That was the case back in the day for Tim Walton. Besides playing wing on a championship rugby team in Kingston, Ont., he was also a double sprint champion in his senior year at Parkland Secondary in Victoria, winning the 100- and 200-metre dashes at the 1979 B.C. high school track and field championships.
These days, Insp. Tim Walton is the officer in charge of the Comox Valley RCMP detachment. He, his wife Wendy, their two daughters and their eight-pound dog have lived in Comox for two happy years.
“When our biggest single category of complaints from the public is traffic, it does say something about the crime (locally).”
A self-professed “jack of all trades and master of none,” Walton likes to joke that he was born in St. Joe’s and attended Vanier, when in fact he was born in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria and attended Vanier Elementary in Newfoundland when his father was in the military.
Through the course of his policing career, Walton has lived in five provinces and two territories. While living in Nunavut, the entire detachment and family members would grab a boat and go fishing out of town. Newfoundland, he found, was the same thing.
“It was just nice to get out there on the water,” he said. “I guess if there’s a theme to my life it’s water.”
Walton’s father served in the navy, so he had considered a career in the coast guard. But he shied away from that option when he found out a prerequisite was Grade 12 physics.
A career in policing was a natural choice: his mother had worked as a civilian for the RCMP, while a scout leader was an RCMP member when Walton’s family lived in Sydney.
He says a career with the RCMP is “almost a calling.”
“We’re in the people business, we’re in the problem-solving business…Dealing with people in crisis, I think we’ve made a transition from maybe in the past telling people what to do, versus helping people make the decision now a bit more. There’s been a change, at least in my 30 years.”
In the past, he suggests RCMP detachments may have been closer, perhaps even insular, because transfers were more frequent.
“One theory is we stuck together because we knew we were going to be moving. Little tough to get involved in the community. You look at this detachment, there’s people here that are approaching 10 years in the community. It’s certainly different than it was.”