By Rob Vogt
It is hard to believe that it has been almost 16 years since Corporal Dalyn Orsten arrived with his young family to become the new corporal of the Claresholm RCMP detachment.
That journey, as a police officer, has come to an end as Orsten has announced his retirement from the police service.
Orsten graduated from Depot, the RCMP training centre, in January of 1996, and was posted to Beaverlodge where he worked general duty for six years.
From there he moved on to Elk Point for four years, then on to Lethbridge for two years where he worked Customs and Excise, dealing with cross border and smuggling issues.
In October of 2007 he was promoted to corporal and came to Claresholm with his wife Gwynne, and sons Odin and Terril.
Gwynne started teaching at West Meadow Elementary School right away, and the family made a decision.
“The kids are going to graduate here – we’re not moving,” they said.
Orsten never imagined they would have stayed here that long, but have not only enjoyed their time, but built many relationships. There are no regrets.
Because he has some vacation time left to take, his official retirement date is April 13.
After that, he is going to look and see what is out there.
But looking back at a career he started when he was 23, he has had a lot of good times, and some bad, as is the career of a police officer.
“More than the memories, I remember the people from the towns I lived in,” he said.
They always lived in the communities Orsten policed in, and always wanted to stay in small towns.
He had opportunities to transfer out of Claresholm, but always came back to the same question.
“Why would we leave here?” he said.
His goal has always been to treat people they way they want to be treated, and do what’s good for people and the community.
One of the areas he has focused on is youth, making many presentations in the schools and community over the years.
“The youth are who we have to protect,” Orsten said, especially with how complex life is for them now.
In the past few years he partnered with staff at Willow Creek Composite High School on a risk reduction program. It was a program he started in Beaverlodge with Bev McNutt, a teacher there who was also at Willow Creek Composite High School.
Risk reduction involved police, the fire department, ambulance, hospital emergency room staff, the funeral director and more to create a live-action scenario illustrating the dangers of impaired driving and the consequences.
The scenario starts with an actual wrecked vehicle, emergency responders arriving on scene to extricate the injured, the police doing on-scene investigation, and the injured and deceased being taken care of by medical and funeral home staff.
That was just one of Orsten’s efforts in the community.
Now he looks ahead to the future, but pauses to look back.
“Thanks for letting me be part of the community,” he said.
“I’m happy to be able to be here 15 years,” he added. “It’s a great place to end up.
“We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
By Rob Vogt