It’s where his heart is

Edgecombe promoted as RCMP’s new district commander for Burin Peninsula

Published on November 29, 2011
Staff/Sergeant Wayne Edgecombe officially took over as District Commander of the Burin Peninsula District RCMP at the end of September. Paul Herridge Photo

Although he was born in Germany, and has lived in nearly every province in the country, Staff Sergeant Wayne Edgecombe considers the Burin Peninsula home.


The Southern Gazette

Although he was born in Germany, and has lived in nearly every province in the country, Staff Sergeant Wayne Edgecombe considers the Burin Peninsula home.

He met his wife, Carol Ann – a Burin native, during his first stint on the peninsula back in the late 80s and his two children – Katie, 18, and Matthew, 12 – have spent significant chunks of their lives here.

At the end of September, he was officially promoted to District Commander for the region, replacing Grant Smith who retired from the force this summer.

It’s almost as if it was meant to be.

“I’ve got more Burin Peninsula blood in me as far as I’m concerned, than I have anywhere else. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place at a time, so I’ve taken ownership for this area here.”

Staying in one area is, indeed, not something S/Sgt. Edgecombe has known a lot of throughout his life. His parents, both Newfoundlanders, moved a lot because his father was a member of the Canadian Forces. Policing is much the same.

Joining the RCMP Feb. 14, 1986, after a short time in Ottawa, his first posting was in Marystown the following year. He then spent some time with Customs and Excise in Grand Bank during ‘Operation Blowtorch’ – the heyday of illegal alcohol smuggling from the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

In between his return to the area with Customs and Excise in Burin in 2003, he spent time in Clarenville, Placentia, Whitbourne and St. John’s with the Drug Section.

Hoping to spend as much of his remaining career as possible in the region, he also plans to retire on the peninsula once his policing days are done

Interestingly, S/Sgt. Edgecombe’s first career interest wasn’t policing – it was wildlife conservation.

In fact, he graduated with an honours degree in biology from the University of Guelph in Ontario.

“I did spend a couple of years working as a zoologist in my field in Ontario, but there was something missing there.”

He credited his father’s best friend, a Staff/Sergeant in Ontario – who was also a native Newfoundlander, as a big part of his interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

“I guess the thing that really brought me to policing was the challenge, the fact that no two days are the same.

“There’s no routine to it whatsoever. You wake up in the morning and you don’t know what your day is and that’s quite a challenge. You really got a better opportunity to serve your community.”

And community is quite important to him. During his spare time, he coaches minor hockey. He’s also involved with a number of other groups in the region such as Burin Peninsula Voice Against Violence and the Burin Peninsula Housing and Homelessness Committee.

“I’m really a community minded person. I think that in order to be in this position you’ve got to have a good idea of what’s going on in your community, so I think that’s where that led me to.”

As far as policing challenges on the Burin Peninsula, S/Sgt. Edgecombe acknowledged the region is not a lot different than other areas of the province. The region is not immune to violence and drug problems.

He said he would like to see more members or a street enforcement section added, and plans to work with upper management on those issues.

S/Sgt. Edgecombe said his plan as district commander is to try to prioritize the district’s goals, in line with those of the RCMP as a whole and those of the communities.

“We do that through our annual policing plans. We’re going to keep following that. It’s been working well so far. We seem to be working towards solutions.”