The Town of Hay River has a new protective services specialist, otherwise and more commonly known as a bylaw officer.
Travis Rosborough began working in his new position on Sept. 14.
“I love it,” he said, after just several days on the job. “I’ve been really enjoying it.”
Rosborough said he has especially enjoyed interacting with town residents while he has been driving around to get familiar with the town and introduce himself to people.
“I’m trying to build a community relationship with people,” he said. “That’s what I really like about this town is the people.”
Except for a brief period, the position of protective services specialist has been vacant in Hay River for four or five years.
“It’s a position that isn’t for everyone,” said Glenn Smith, the senior administrative officer with the town. “It’s an officer position at the end of the day. I think you have to ensure you have the right personality and person into that position.”
Rosborough noted he has experience dealing with the public.
“I’ve dealt with everybody,” he said. “That’s from whose happy to see you to people that aren’t so happy to see you.”
One of his big goals is to meet people and provide enforcement through education.
Originally from Belleville, Ont., the 27-year-old Rosborough has held a number of positions, including in the NWT.
“I’ve worked as a peace officer in other places, but specifically a role like this is very unique,” he said, noting this is the first time he has worked as a protective services specialist.
His experience includes working with ground ambulance in Inuvik and working in Yellowknife with 9-1-1 dispatch.
Ross Potter, the director of protective services, described Rosborough in very positive terms during the Sept. 15 online meeting of Hay River town council.
“He’s got a fairly good background as a peace officer through a hospital setting,” said Potter, noting Rosborough is also familiar with traffic enforcement and ambulance services.
“I think he’s a really good catch and he’s doing really well fitting in with the group pretty well,” Potter told council.
Rosborough said there is much more that he needs to learn.
“And that’s why this position is so great because there will be those opportunities for me to be able to develop my skills,” he said.
Before the arrival of Rosborough, many of the duties of a protective services specialist had to be covered by Potter himself.
Rosborough noted he loves being in the North.
“I’m an outdoors guy,” he said. “I like to go fishing, camping, hunting, all that stuff. So when I had the opportunity to kind of put all my experiences and roles into one position, but also be able to experience the North, I thought it was an awesome opportunity for me.”
Smith noted that the town will be working on a plan to prioritize the activities of the protective services specialist.
“We’re going to give our new recruit an opportunity to provide some input into that,” he said. “I expect to have something probably by next month.”
Smith said the town will likely move to more of a proactive approach to bylaw enforcement.