“You, sir, have big boots to fill,” Squamish Staff Sgt. Gareth Bradley told Bowen’s soon-to-be new corporal, Adam Koehle, at the regular council meeting Monday evening. (Bradley is a supervisor to the Bowen detachment)
Bradley was introducing the new senior member of the Bowen police department to council. Koehle will take over for Cpl. Paulo Arreaga in July.
Koehle told council that he spent nearly 10 years working in North Vancouver and the past four in Squamish.
“Squamish has been really interesting. It’s been nice to get out of a bigger city and into a smaller community and now I’m looking forward to getting into a smaller community still,” he said.
While the reason for the police visit was to introduce Koehle, the star of the show was Arreaga, who got a round of applause from council and audience alike.
“It never ceases to amaze me, every time I come over here, especially in the last six to eight months, everybody around here is like, ‘we’re going to miss him dearly,’” Bradley said.
“You’re an integral part of the community and I just wanted to appreciate your service to the community,” he told Arreaga.
“Paulo, I don’t know what to say – it seems like you’ve been a fixture here for 10 years,” said Mayor Gary Ander. “And on behalf of the council I’m sure and the community in general, I’d like to thank you for looking after us, you and your colleagues, for the last four years.”
“It’s been an exemplary example of community policing because of not only your dedication to the job and your duty, you’re also dedicated to the community,” he said. “And you’ve done a wonderful, wonderful job.”
“Thank you very much, you guys have made it very easy,” said Arreaga, who also promised to return to visit.
“It’s been an honour,” he said.