RCMP recognize wives’ role at awards presentation

Unpaid Second Man award acknowledges the support and voluntary duties that they provided to the RCMP

A very special RCMP awards presentation was held recently in Kelowna, honoring a specific group of spouses of RCMP police officers. The Unpaid Second Man award was created in 2010, with over 450 RCMP wives from across Canada having received the award to date with 168 of those in BC.

On Thursday Nov. 7, the Southeast District RCMP along with the RCMP Veterans Association held an awards presentation, formally recognizing the role played by the spouses of RCMP police officers, those who with their husband were posted to one or two man RCMP detachments in small isolated communities across Canada.

The Unpaid Second Man award acknowledges the support and voluntary duties that they provided to the RCMP and the communities in which they and their families were posted to. Throughout the 50’s and up into the 80’s, many of these isolated posts had members living quarters attached to the detachment and as a result many duties fell to the wife while their spouses attended to calls or were absent from the office while out on regular patrols.

The duty list was long, from clerical duties including complaint taking, guarding prisoners, cleaning common areas, cooking meals for prisoners to being the first contact with victims and suspects who may have showed up at the detachment’s doorstep during their husbands absence. The above accomplished, all while raising their families.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens had the special privilege to honor his own grandmother on Thursday.

Madge Callens now of Mara, BC, was posted to Clinton with her husband, Jules Callens, from 1950 to 1953. Mrs. Callens is the proud Matriarch of four generations of RCMP/police officers.