He’s the friendly face that caps off every Aldergrove parade with lights and sirens from inside of his squad car.
He’s the type of police officer who will take an hour out of his workday to drive a homeless man to a treatment centre all the way in Surrey.
Aldergrove’s Cpl. Kurt Neuman dreamed that he was going to be a Royal Canadian Mountie ever since age seven.
Growing up a kid in Surrey, Neuman recalls drawing himself much older, with a badge, and “arresting criminals.”
But after more than 20 years on the force he’s learned that there’s more to policing than enforcing the law.
The Mountie has made it his professional mission during the past few years to get acquainted with the underbelly of Aldergrove.
“And what’s the best way to find out what’s going on in the community? To get to know the people,” he told the Aldergrove Star.
Since taking over the job of Aldergrove community police liaison in March 2018, Neuman has re-established a strong presence of what he calls “boots on the ground.”
He’s recruited Langley RCMP auxiliary officers for foot patrols three seasons out of the year, greeting citizens and business owners while gathering vital information about criminal activity in the area.
By doing that, Neuman has increased the visibility of law enforcement seen not only on Aldergrove streets, but in Fort Langley and Langley City, as well. And other officers have since followed suit.
“It gets police officers out of their vehicles and helps them know the community,” he said.
The foot patrols have led to successes including in July, when Neuman came upon a man with outstanding warrants in downtown Aldergrove. He took the suspect into custody.
There have been several other arrests that have come as a result of the foot patrols.
“I’ve seen Aldergrove change for the better,” Neuman said, pointing out areas that were a few years ago overrun with drug use and crime, now reclaimed as safe spaces.
“Even the new rec centre and pool has made a big difference for youth,” Neuman said.
One of his most cherished connections is with the Kwantlen First Nations – whom he regularly brings Timbits to spends time with on his days off.
“They’re my family now. My family grew by 300,” Neuman said.
He’s now leaving his role on a high note – the Langley RCMP officer has been promoted to the ranks of a sergeant with BC RCMP crime prevention services.
“If we can prevent crime from occurring, it’s much better than having to respond to it,” he said about his new posting based in Surrey.
The good news is – Neuman still plans to live in Aldergrove as a homeowner, husband, and neighbour.
“I didn’t want to live in a place where you don’t know your neighbour,” Neuman said.
“And if I care about my neighbours’ well being, then they care about mine. People generally want to care,” the officer added.