Renee Nicholson has given more than 8

Renee Nicholson has given more than 8

Community policing volunteer logs White Rock record

Renee Nicholson has given more than 8,000 hours of her time to community policing programs in White Rock.

Renee Nicholson knows exactly when she’ll put an end to her tradition of helping others: when it stops being fun.

“If I’m not happy, I’m not staying,” the South Surrey senior said matter-of-factly, in a recent interview about her years as a White Rock RCMP Community Policing volunteer.

Retired since 1992, Nicholson began volunteering with the detachment in September 2000.

As of the end of 2014, she’s logged 8,000 hours – the most ever accumulated by a single volunteer in the detachment’s history.

“We’ve never had anyone in White Rock reach 8,000,” said crime-prevention co-ordinator Julia Everett. “No one is close to Renee’s hours.”

Nicholson is among volunteers who will be celebrated Friday (April 24) at the detachment’s annual Volunteer Appreciation event.

Chatting outside the Pacific Avenue office, it’s clear Nicholson is uncomfortable being singled out for attention.

“It is an honour,” she said of volunteering. “I don’t look at it as being anything special. I did it because I could give back to the community.”

Over the years, Nicholson’s involvement has ranged from establishing the Mature Driving program in White Rock and patrolling the streets at night with other volunteers, to helping with the annual Red Serge fundraiser and looking after the city’s wandering-persons registry. She’s put in up to 12 hours in a day, and has even been the “poster girl” in a campaign that sent her picture across the province.

While the latter was a surprise, in no way did it dampen her enthusiasm for helping.

“(There’s) no job that she’s given me that I haven’t liked,” Nicholson said, referring to tasks requested of her by Everett.

“The only thing I don’t do now is going out at night in the van.”

Everett is certain that if not for Nicholson’s watchful eyes on one particular night on patrol, one teen may not have lived to see the light of day.

“That could’ve been a death if you hadn’t been involved,” Everett told her.

Recalling the night, Nicholson agreed the situation initially appeared dire.

“We thought he was dead,” she said of the teen found seemingly lifeless at the side of the road in the 15700-block of North Bluff Road.

Closer investigation by authorities determined the youth had alcohol poisoning. He was “drunk out of his mind,” Nicholson said, as she recalled the youth insisting to officers that he was born in 1920.

On another patrol, she and fellow volunteer Allen Barnett alerted police to an individual seen breaking into a house – a sighting that led to an arrest. Nicholson has also helped police recover “many” stolen vehicles, through checking licence plates of random vehicles. Her most recent find was logged about a month ago.

Nicholson credits her penchant for helping to the way she was raised.

“My family always believed in doing good for others,” she said. “I always learned to give, not to keep.”

Community policing is not the only area where she lends a hand, either. Nicholson is active with the Rotary Club of South Surrey, and  every tax season spends hours at the Kent Street Activity Centre helping seniors with their tax returns. This month, she’s put 40 hours into that task alone; 75 hours since March 15.

More recently, she has started knitting afghans for babies as a community ambassador for Telus – a program available to current and retired employees. Nicholson worked 35 years for the company when it was known as BC Tel.

Getting involved is, quite simply, a huge part of what makes Nicholson who she is.

The reward?

“All the time I’m doing it, I’m meeting lots of really good people,” she said. “When we used to do Community on Patrol at night, lots of people would stop and thank us. It made it all worthwhile.”

 

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

Just Posted

Friends and family of murder victim Paul Prestbakmo wore memorial masks outside Surrey Provincial Court Jan. 14, 2021. (From left) Family friend Tyler Whitley, sister Angela Prestbakmo, childhood friend Jimmy Slater, brother Steve Prestbakmo, Semiahmoo First Nation councillor Roxanne Charles and sister Liz Prestbakmo. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Two accused in 2019 South Surrey murder were ‘really angry,’ pacing at party: witness

‘We had this really strong gut feeling that something was really wrong’

Semiahmoo Rock
Record-setting 10 Semiahmoo Rock players selected in B.C. junior lacrosse draft

Kaleb Borg is the highest Rock player selected, going in the second round to the Coquitlam Adanacs

The City of Surrey is currently working through the initial phase for a park that’ll be built at 72 Avenue and 191 Street in Clayton. (Image via City of Surrey)
New park to be built in Clayton Heights

City of Surrey asking for feedback from Clayton residents

Delta View Care Centre (Google Street View image)
16 new COVID-19 cases, one death, in Delta care facilities

Ministry releasing weekly report on long-term care, assisted and independent living facility cases

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey firefighters’ response to drug overdose calls has increased by 25 per cent

City manager says this has equated to a 75 per cent increase in delivery of life-saving Naloxone by firefighters

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

The Fraser Valley Regional Library board of directors recently finalized its budget. (Black Press Media files)
Fraser Valley Regional Library budget not enough to keep up with booming population

Almost $5 million of books, DVDs, and ebooks to be purchased in 2021

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Most Read