When M.D. of Lesser Slave River council was introduced to new bylaw officer Gagandeep ‘Raxen’ Singh a few weeks ago, he was asked how he might handle somebody twice his size.
“I’m a black belt in judo and taekwondo,” he said.
Those aren’t recent acquisitions, but they still could come in handy. He learned both disciplines while growing up in Jammu, in the northwest of India.
Singh was expecting to receive his provincial appointment last week, at which point he would become a full-fledged community peace officer. Prior to that, since starting with the M.D. on June 13, he was designated ‘bylaw officer,’ and was accompanying senior peace officer Paul Mulholland on his rounds, learning the ropes.
“We’re doing patrols of all the communities,” he says. “Noise, dogs, unsightly premises, talking to people.”
Singh says Mulholland has been very helpful, but he’s looking forward to getting out on his own, with an expanded field of authority. This will include enforcement of the traffic safety act, “including on all provincial highways,” he says.
Singh says he’s wanted to be a police officer since childhood. Encouraged by his family to come to Canada to seek higher education, he made the leap in 2016 when he was just 18, into what he calls “my life adventure.” He studied business at Seneca College in Ontario, then took a job in Yukon Territory as a corrections officer. He also served as a volunteer firefighter during the 18 months up north.
Singh was also, briefly, a peace officer with Alberta Health Services. His new gig, with the M.D., is a step closer to his goal of being a police officer.
But for now, he’s out there on the highways and byways of the M.D., keeping the peace and enforcing bylaws and keeping an eye on traffic.
“I’m very passionate about traffic,” he says. “Making it safe.”
Outside of work, Singh says he loves the outdoors. He’s already tried kayaking and boating since he’s been in Slave Lake.
by Joe McWilliams