It has been a long journey for Const. Mark Pattinson to come from the United Kingdom to Golden.
Pattinson is an officer who brings 25 years of experience to the town.
Starting in the United Kingdom in 1988, Pattinson worked for 20 years, mainly in and around London.
“The biggest difference was that in London I serviced a large metropolitan area. It was very busy and a very violent society. I was regularly involved in street scuffles and public order types of things,” he said.
He added he never carried a fire arm for the 20 years he was a police officer in London.
“When I first joined, I had a wooden billy club and that was it.”
Pattinson explained that for the first six months he was on the street, he did not even have handcuffs due to budget constraints.
“I remember my first call I went to as a young lad. I went to a domestic problem. The guy would not listen to us and eventually we had to place him under arrest. We had to go hands on unfortunately. We were rolling around his front room and had to take off our pant belts to tie his hands up,” he said.
Pattinson said the laws are very similar between the U. K. and Canada which has made his move to Canada easier.
However, there is a great difference in the show of respect for police officers between the two countries.
“You get people here coming up to you and telling you that you are doing a good job, they thank you for your efforts. Whereas, in the U.K. they throw something at you,” he said.
He said this lack of respect can be seen with other public servants in the U.K. as well.
“I have been at calls where the fire department gets called out, and when they arrive, it is a hoax call. Then a group of 30 or 40 kids throw stones at them or drop stuff on their trucks from bridges,” he said.
Pattinson said a number of his police cruisers were damaged over the years in the U.K from people throwing things at them. They threw chainsaws, a samurai sword that was put through the roof, and a refrigerator thrown on his vehicle from a high rise building.
He said that he knew it was time for a change and Canada was the perfect fit.
“I came to Canada for the first time in 1992 and my wife and I decided that this would be a good country for us,” he said.
The couple moved to Canada in 2008 and he started working with the Calgary Police Service.
After joining the RCMP, he was assigned to Golden in February.
“I have hit the ground running here, and other than learning a few things, everything has been great.”
As an outdoorsman, Golden is perfect for Pattinson.
“I love hiking , skiing and all of these things are easily accessible. Here the rivers are free access and it is great,” he said
Since coming to Canada the family has added a daughter.
“It is a great quality of life here for us. Golden is awesome. I love the outdoor life and raising my little girl here will be perfect,” he said.
“It is a nice town and people seem very decent. Policing is the same the world over. Provided that you treat people with dignity and respect, then you will generally get the same back.”