S/Sgt. Mike Casault honoured in retirement
By Mary Giuliano
I recall listening as Mike Casault taught the DARE program at IDES. Friendly and approachable to children and parents, Mike said hello when passing by in his police car and spoke when meeting in person. He is admired and respected for his consistent community work, his friendliness, his compassion towards those that got in trouble and his understanding of how this affected parents. Mike truly is the policeman you want in your town, the one you look up to, the one you feel is there to protect and help you, someone you can trust.
On Friday May 1, there was a get-together to honour Mike on his retirement from the RCMP. It was great to see several retired officers and spouses as well as present officers and friends come to pay honour to Mike.
S/Sgt. Lorne Craig was MC and said the following: “Thank you for coming to this dinner in honour of Mike who has retired from the RCMP after 25 years of service. S/Sgt. Mike Casault Regimental #41287 first became exposed to the RCMP in 1986 when he was hired as summer student Constable in McLennan, Alberta. After this experience Mike decided to volunteer as an Auxiliary Constable and focus efforts on his application to the RCMP.
“He was officially sworn as a member of the RCMP on September 11, 1989 and became part of Troop 6. Prior to attending Depot Division in Regina, Mike opted for language training in Montreal for seven months. On arriving at Depot Division he spent some time waiting for the other members of Troop 6 to arrive and start training. After six months of training Mike graduated December 1990 and was sent immediately to Fort Nelson.
“In April 1994 he was posted to Fernie. He was promoted to Corporal in July, 2005 and voted in to a Staff Relations Representative position in April 2007. While this was a transfer to Kelowna, Mike and his family chose to stay in Fernie where he continued to work as the SRR representative.
He was promoted to Sergeant on January 2008 and given a much larger area of responsibility within “E” Division. Another promotion came January 2010 to the rank of S/Sgt and a transfer to Ottawa in October of 2011. Another promotion and more responsibility, Mike was now in charge of the National Health and Safety portfolio as the Staff Relations Representative. Mike left this position January 2014 and took annual leave until April 1, 2015 when he officially hung up his stirrups.”
Over the span of 25 years of service Mike was recognized with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Long Service Medal in recognition of 20 years of service, Bronze Clasp for 25 years of service and also received a Saint John’s Life Saving Award for delivering CPR and using a defibrillator on a retired member who had a heart attack. Mike was credited for saving his life. He was also a member of the Nelson Emergency Response Team in 1995 and was deployed to the Gustafson Lake standoff. He was in the mix of the standoff and shoot out on September 11, 1995.
S/Sgt. Craig’s joke to Mike drew laughter when he said, “there must be something to September 11; sworn in on September 11, involved in a shoot- out on September 11, did you happen to be in New York City in recent years?” He then added that it was no wonder that Mike was recruited by the ERT Team; he is a very good marksman, earning the Crowned Crossed Revolvers, Crowned Crossed Pistols, and Crowned Crossed Rifles Badges due to his exceptional marksmanship.
The RCMP saddle blanket called “shabrack” was then presented on behalf of those attending. This is the traditional design dating back to 1887 when ‘MP’ was registered as the horse brand of the North West Mounted Police. With few variations, the design of dark blue cloth, singlewide yellow border, ‘MP’ brand and crown has been the traditional appointment and is still used today on the horses of the RCMP’s Musical Ride. The scale reproduction of the saddle blanket adorned with the various badges and decorations that Mike had earned over the span of his career will be a reminder for him of his time with the RCMP.
Letters of congratulations were read from friends and co-workers unable to attend and also from the Commissioner and then Tom Hopkins spoke about the years Mike spent as a volunteer firefighter in the Fernie fire hall with Alex Crawford and Gerry Dyke telling funny stories.
Congratulations and best wishes to you and your family in your retirement Mike.
Photos courtesy Mary Giuliano