A little more than a year as the RCMP commander in Hay River, Sgt. Tyler Codling will be working his last day in the community on Feb. 5.
When he arrived in December 2014, the plan was for him to stay three years – the full duration for a sergeant in Hay River.
“The unique situation we ran into is my wife … she’s a respiratory therapist,” said Codling. “And with the economic situation with the GNWT, they just weren’t able to (facilitate) a position for her.”
That means his wife, Cailin Codling, wasn’t going to be able to work in the NWT, either in Hay River or Yellowknife.
Tyler Codling said there are respiratory therapists in Yellowknife and his wife had hopes of possibly working in the soon-to-open new health centre in Hay River. However, neither of those avenues worked out for her.
“So she shopped around and she found a job in Calgary, and then I applied for and was granted an early transfer so that I could live with her,” he said.
Codling said it’s just a reflection of the current financial situation of the GNWT.
“So that’s just a reality they had and there’s no fault of anyone there,” he said of the lack of a position for his wife with the GNWT. “Her reality is that, as a professional, she can’t afford to spend years with no current experience. So that put us into this situation.”
Codling is transferring to the RCMP detachment in the Alberta community of Gleichen, about an hour east of Calgary.
Asked if he is disappointed to be leaving Hay River after just a year, the sergeant said he has transferred enough that he kind of rolls with it as it happens.
“I’m definitely going to miss Hay River,” he said. “It’s been a great town and a very friendly environment, and it’s always refreshing to be in a town that has a good relationship with the RCMP, where there’s a lot of pro-police sentiment. It’s a good place for us to be stationed.”
While he would have liked to have had more time in Hay River, Codling feels his year in the community has been positive.
For example, he mentioned there have been arrests for drug trafficking.
Plus, Codling pointed to the role police had in keeping last year’s municipal workers strike peaceful.
“I felt like the strike situation that the town went through that that could have been a lot worse,” he said. “I thought my guys, this office, did everything they could to try and keep the peace and keep everybody on an even keel, and make sure there weren’t flare-ups of violence or anything like that. That’s something that I look back on that I thought we handled well this past year.”
The sergeant’s replacement in Hay River hasn’t been officially announced.
However, he expects a new sergeant to arrive in the spring or early summer.
In the meantime, one of the detachment’s corporals will act in the role of sergeant.
The 40-year-old Codling, who has been a member of the RCMP for 14 years, transferred to Hay River from Ontario, where he worked with a federal unit on drugs and organized crime.
As for his new community of Gleichen, it has only about 500 residents. However, the detachment also serves a First Nation reserve and includes an overall area of 5,000 people.
“They’re a busy detachment,” said Codling. “There’ll be a lot of work going on.”