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.”


Just Posted

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Fleetwood Park Secondary School’s 2021 commencement ceremonies were held over the course of two days, June 10 and 11. Grads went through a small, distanced ceremony in groups of four, with up to four members of the grad’s household. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s 2021 grads find creative ways to celebrate in another year of COVID-19

This year’s Grade 12 students were unable to have any large-scale events

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

All nine White Rock Renegades softball teams are set to take part in the Canadian Pride and Power Tournament, scheduled for July 1-4. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock Renegades set to host multi-team Pride and Power softball tournament

‘There’s going to be a lot of excitement in the park,’ said Greg Timm

The Lower Mainland Green Team and students from Earl Marriott Secondary remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Green Team returns to White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park to monitor previous work

Environmental volunteers, South Surrey students remove invasive species

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

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

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read