Special to The Labradorian
The commanding officer for the RCMP in Labrador was among four police officers born in this province invested into the Order of Merit of Police Forces in a ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa May 9.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston presided over the ceremony.
Insp. Cahill left his job with the Royal Bank of Canada in Goose Bay in 1992 to join the federal police force.
Almost two decades later he’s back in the community he left and now serves as top cop for all RCMP officers policing in the Big Land.
Insp. Cahill is originally from St. John’s. His father Adrian Cahill is a retired member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
Several of his uncles also took on policing careers, he says, which made his decision to head to depot an easy one.
About 15 years of Insp. Cahill’s policing career has been spent in northern Manitoba.
He also policed in Iqaluit, Nunavut and served on a nine-month United Nations mission in Kosovo where he worked with police officers from all over the world investigating war crimes.
Insp. Cahill returned to Newfoundland in 2007 to head the RCMP’s Placentia-Whitbourne district.
In Sept. 2011 he made the move to Labrador where he is responsible for about 70 police officers and about 20 support staff.
While he’s stationed in Happy Valley-Labrador, Insp. Cahill is responsible for RCMP detachments in Cartwright, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Hopedale, Postville, Nain, Forteau, Makkovik, Rigolet, Mary’s Harbour, Natuashish and Sheshatshiu.
“My family and I really enjoyed the experiences here the first time so it was an easy decision to come here again,” he says.
Insp. Cahill says his appointment to the Order of Merit of Police Forces was a total surprise but great honour.
The Order was created in 2000 to recognize conspicuous merit and exceptional service by members and employees of the Canadian police forces whose contributions extend beyond protection of the community.
Insp. Cahill and his wife Deanne have three daughters.
Mrs. Cahill is from the Town of Carmenville but grew up in St. John’s.
He credits his wife for supporting him through the years and moving with him from region to region.
“She’s the one who always has to give up her career to follow mine.”
Once settled in a new area both Insp. Cahill and his wife quickly seek out volunteer opportunities.
Whether coaching hockey, chairing a school council or serving on a community health board – getting involved in the community helps newcomers not only feel they are contributing but allows them get to know their neighbours and other people in the community, Insp. Cahill says.
“When we go into a new posting, we look at it as another adventure. And we do all we can to enjoy the experience and to make it great for our kids.”
Avid outdoors people, living in Labrador is also an opportunity for the Cahills go snowmobiling and participate in outdoor activities.
“That certainly helps you when you love where you are living,” he says.
RCMP Chief Supt. Andrew Boland is acting commanding officer of the RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"This recognition is a prestigious honour bestowed upon only a few Canadians and is a testament to the commitment and dedication of Insp. Cahill," Chief Supt. Boland said.
Looking back at his time with the RCMP, Insp. Cahill says he has no regrets leaving the financial industry to help keep people safe.
“It’s been a fantastic career for me. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”
There are three levels of membership in the Order: Commander, Officer and Member.
RNC Chief Robert Johnston and RCMP Asst. Comm. Roger Brown were invested as Officers of the Order. Asst. Comm. Brown was born in this province and is currently commanding officer at the RCMP Police Academy in Regina Saskatchewan.
Insp. Cahill and RNC Insp. Sean Ryan were appointed as Members of the Order.