Chief Andy Brinton of the Oak Bay Police welcomes Const. Deane Johnston to the force with an April 1 swear-in. Johnston grew up in Saanich and worked in Oak Bay for a decade before taking up policing in Calgary. (@oakbaypolice Twitter)

Chief Andy Brinton of the Oak Bay Police welcomes Const. Deane Johnston to the force with an April 1 swear-in. Johnston grew up in Saanich and worked in Oak Bay for a decade before taking up policing in Calgary. (@oakbaypolice Twitter)

Oak Bay’s newest officer a familiar face around town

Ex-Calgary cop now patrolling Tweed City

A late start to Const. Deane Johnston’s policing career is part of why he’s the right fit to become one of Oak Bay Police’s newest officers.

Johnston, 44, was sworn in on April 1. He grew up in Gordon Head, graduated from Lambrick Park secondary, attended Oak Bay United and even got married there. A career in the hospitality industry brought him to the Victoria Golf Club where he worked 10 years when, at the age of 40 and with two young children, he applied and was accepted to enter officer training with the Calgary Police.

“It was a good experience in Calgary, you’re exposed to a great number of calls in a short amount of time,” Johnston said. “It’s quite the opposite to here.

“Calgary was computer-driven, where you’re spending your day [on patrol] going call-to-call. There’s never time to work on building relationships with community members, whereas here you go out and engage with the residents.”

READ MORE: From the streets of York to Oak Bay, new police officer excited to be back on Island

From 10 years at the Victoria Golf Club, Johnston got to know the residents here fairly well, he said. Johnston and his wife also ran their own business, which gave them added insight into the community as entrepreneurs.

“This is my top place to work at, I’m absolutely ecstatic to be here,” Johnston said.

It was his young family that caused Johnston to re-evaluate his career and look into policing, an option that had lingered in his mind previously. But it took a serious commitment, more than they anticipated. When Calgary Police accepted him, Johnston and his wife uprooted their family, which included her mom, and their two kids, now aged six and seven, to Calgary.

Halfway through the training, which can be physically gruelling, Johnston suffered an injury that set him back six months.

“Unfortunately I got injured but they kept me along,” Johnston said. “I started over from square one.”

With almost four years of experience in big-city policing, but a desire for grassroots policing and a return to Greater Victoria, Johnston was a good fit, said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties. Especially since he already worked in the area, and had a feel for the way of life and policing here.

READ ALSO: Video: Homemade pedestrian scramble crosswalk removed by Saanich Police

“He is very familiar with Oak Bay and our style of policing, which focuses more on addressing issues holistically and being a trusted and approachable [officer],” Bernoties said. “Johnston is a mature, compassionate member who is doing a fantastic job already in Oak Bay.”

While the style of policing and the calls for service here differ from bigger cities, there was nothing normal about Johnston’s swearing-in. It was April 1, and it was under the cloud of COVID-19.

“Between me and the other new guy [Const. Derek Brand], it was the first time getting hired in a social distance environment so there was not a lot of pomp and circumstance,” Johnston said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusOak Bay Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. is conducting an emergency alert test on Nov. 25 at 1:55 p.m. (Black Press Media File photo)
Expect B.C.-wide emergency alert system test Wednesday afternoon

The message will be broadcast at 1:55 p.m. on Nov. 25.

The Grinch was spotted on a tractor in Metchosin Monday morning, an early welcome for the holiday season. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTO: Grinch arrives early for the holidays in Metchosin

Send your favourite Christmas decorations to Black Press Media

The Great Adventure is the Braefoot Community Association’s answer to COVID fatigue, a nine-day photography scavenger hunt around Saanich and beyond, for teams of up to six people in each other’s bubble. (Unsplash)
Cameras, safe six mix for photographic scavenger hunt around Saanich

Braefoot Community Association invites public to have some outdoor fun with fundraiser

SD62 says parents of kids who have problems with bus stops and pick up times should reach out to their transportation department to find a solution. This comes after a Grade 10 student attending EMCS in Sooke found out he had to walk 45 minutes to get to the nearest bus pickup. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus route mishap leaves EMCS student walking 45 mins to pickup spot

Sooke School District willing to work with family to find solution

file
Oak Bay resident bilked $3,300 in puppy scam

Three cases of fraud reported in two days

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read