It's a dirty job but...
Officer gives tickets with a friendly face

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 25/97) - He tries to be a little sympathetic when he's giving out traffic tickets.

As a former truck driver who joined the RCMP at age 30, Shawn Pollard tries to give drivers a break when he's handing out tickets.

"If you do it right, you sell the ticket," he said. "They drive away saying, 'now he's a nice guy.'"

Pollard said officers hear people complain about getting tickets all the time, even saying things like, "There's murderers out there, why are you wasting time on us?"

"But this is my job, and somebody has to do it," he said. "It's a dirty job in some ways."

Pollard has been patrolling the highways around Yellowknife for the past three months when the RCMP resumed the beat after a four-year hiatus. It had been cut to keep more officers in the city.

Until the Lupin Mine ice road closed earlier this month, he was busy stopping trucks, checking to see if their logbooks were up to date, among other things. Now, he's patrolling the highway to Rae and Fort Providence, as well as the Ingraham Trail.

Pollard is doing a job he says needs to be done.

"There hasn't been much enforcement on the highways," he said. "Now that the roads are paved, the traffic is increasing and it's fairly important that someone is out there."

It's because of the increasing traffic that Pollard was assigned to the highway beat this winter.

He even has a new radar that picks up speeding vehicles from as far as five kilometres away travelling either direction. The radar $6,000 machine was given to the RCMP by the Department of Transportation.

Pollard likes the highway beat so much he hopes to continue the beat next year when the ice roads re-open.

"I enjoy getting out," he said. "Getting out of town gives you a little more freedom. People think I'm crazy, but I love it."