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In THE NOW News:



Friday, January 27, 2012

An inspiration for female officers Coquitlam RCMP detachment hires the first female inspector in its history

A missing teen is back with her family. . . . . . . 5

Jennifer McFee

Business: A local business targets the Styrofoam recycling market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Parenting: If kids are old enough to work, they need to learn about taxes. . . . . . . . . 20

Community: Selling collectibles? The Better Business Bureau has some advice. . . . . 28

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t was fate. For Paulette Freill, that’s what led her down a career path to become the first female inspector in the history of the Coquitlam RCMP. “I wasn’t one of those little girls who, since she was five years old, wanted to be a policewoman. I can’t honestly say that. I actually fell into policing. Whether it be by accident or what have you, I fell into it, and now I know that it’s what I was meant to do,” said 48-year-old Freill. “I’m one of those people that believe in fate. I believe everything in life happens for a reason. And this is the job I was born to do because I absolutely love it and I’ve excelled at it. So I didn’t grow up with a lifelong dream, but I’m really happy I chose this career.” With 26 years of policing experience, Freill joined “I love the people. I the Tri-Cities team love the work. Every last week. She is heading up the day is a new day and Coquitlam RCMP’s you never know what’s plainclothes invesgoing to happen.” tigations and crime prevention sections. As well, she will Paulette Freill manage the local RCMP Inspector crime reduction strategy. “There’s so much good work being done by the regular members, the civilian staff and, gosh, the hundreds of volunteers that are out there in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam,” she said. “There’s a lot on my plate, but I’m very excited. Coquitlam’s a fabulous city and I’m looking forward to helping police it.” Originally from Newfoundland, Freill started her career in Kelowna in 1985. That was where she met her husband — a fellow RCMP member who recently retired after more than 32 years of service. From there, Freill served in North Vancouver, Langley and Surrey, where she was also the detachment’s first female inspector. “I can’t speak to how [other female members] have been treated. In my experience, I can say I’ve worked with lots of men. Have I been welcomed with open arms by every man — or for that matter, every woman — I’ve worked with or supervised? No, but it has gotten easier as we’ve progressed over the years and we have more and more women joining the organization,” she said. “There are lots of members now, for example, that grew up with women being in the force, so it becomes commonplace. And every organization, whether it’s us or another big organization, has problems inside of it that people deal with. But the RCMP has been absolutely fabulous to me and to my career.”


he mother of two also credits her husband. “Being a member of a big organization, both of us with healthy careers, we had to really balance our work. And he actually was such a wonderful partner to have in work and at home because we balanced it between the two of us,” she said. “When I got called in, he stayed home and vice

Kevin Hill/NOW

Paulette Freill heads up plainclothes investigations and crime prevention for the local RCMP versa. So I have to credit him. He’s a big part of why I’m where I am.” Since she’s been in supervisory ranks, Freill said many young female members have spoken to her about being a woman in the Mounted Police. “Here in Coquitlam, a couple of young gals came to me and said, ‘Wow, we’re so happy to see a woman that we can come and talk to because you’ve been through what we’re going through right now, whether it be a pregnancy while I’m at work or having to balance life,’” Freill said. “In Surrey, I had a young gal in auxiliary who came to me and she said, ‘Ma’am, I saw you give a

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presentation. You’re the reason I want to be a policewoman.’ That’s so rewarding. It’s a fabulous career for women — and for men as well. There are huge opportunities.” And for Freill, her career is a perfect fit. “I love the people. I love the work. Every day is a new day and you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I love serving the communities and helping people. That’s the thing that drew me to this — I love helping people and meeting people and new things every day.”

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Coquitlam Now January 27 2012  

Coquitlam Now January 27 2012

Coquitlam Now January 27 2012  

Coquitlam Now January 27 2012