A former Prince Rupert RCMP Staff Sergeant was recently recognized by Governor General David Johnson for his accomplishments while in the police service.
Staff Sergeant James Vardy, who is now retired, was invested as a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Force, which honours leadership and exceptional service of the Canadian Police Services. He received the honour on Oct. 5 at a ceremony at the Citadel of Québec.
Vardy served with the RCMP for 34 years. During that time he worked in the marine services where he developed a program for a division of the B.C. fleet and he looked after all the vessels owned by the RCMP.
“He got to know the area quite well on the North Coast,” said Staff Sgt. Rob Pikola, who took over Vardy’s position when he retired. He added that Vardy also built quite a few relationships with the First Nations leadership.
He was involved in several protests, including the logging strikes on Haida Gwaii and he was a key player in keeping peaceful protests at the Klappan mine near Dease Lake in the summer of 2013. Vardy set up a 24/7 remote police detachment where a few members of the RCMP lived out of tents for a couple of months.
“He’s a Newfoundlander. I can say from personal experience working with him, he was a hard worker. There wasn’t a thing that he wouldn’t challenge. He was very engaged. He would put work first,” Staff Sgt. Pikola said.
Hardy was also influential in creating a ship rider program and looking after the U.S.-Canadian border during the 2010 winter Olympics.
The office of the secretary to the Governor General’s spokesperson, Marie-Pierre Bélanger, wrote that he was given the merit “for his exemplary leadership of the Pacific West unit, and for his contributions to dispute resolution, emergency response and border enforcement in the marine environment along the British Columbian coast.”
The honour recognizes his commitment to Canada with the main focus on contributions to policing, exceptional merit and community development.
“We’re very proud of him getting it, that’s for sure,” Staff Sgt. Pikola said.