S/Sgt. Dan Lemieux

 

 

Dan Lemieux has and continues to provide dedicated service in anything he undertakes.

Many people have benefited from his extra efforts and he serves as an example of what contributions a Veteran can make after they retire from the Force.

 

 

 

 

 

Yearly Years

Daniel Bernard Lemieux was born at Rocky Mountain House, Alberta and raised in Calgary.   His father, Bernard Palmer Lemieux, subsequently became Fire Chief of the Calgary Fire Department.

Joins The Force

On February 3rd, 1947, Dan was sworn into the RCMP at Calgary, Alberta. At that time, every one under the age of 21, was enlisted as a Recruit Special Constable.  Dan’s regimental number was #9377. In 1948 the rank of Recruit Special Constable was abolished and all automatically became Third Class Constables. It took 3 years of good conduct to become a Constable. Dan’s regimental number was #15230.

Dan trained at “N” Division and then “Depot”.  After graduation, he was transferred to Regina Town Station and then to Weyburn Detachment.  In the winter of 1948, he and troop-mate Cst. Dan Webster were transferred to Toronto.  All new arrivals were detailed to guard the Bank of Canada and were not allowed to drive police vehicles for three months.  After doing night patrols and enforcing provincial laws in Saskatchewan, being in red serge in the Bank of Canada was an extremely unpleasant experience.

In February 1948, Dan returned to Rockcliffe to take a 3 month Equitation Course. After completing the course, he was transferred to St. Catherine’s, Ontario to do Strike Duty on the Welland Ship Canal during the Canadian Seamen’s Union Strike. When the strike ended, he was transferred to Niagara Falls Detachment.

In the fall of 1948, Dan was awarded the Minto Cup for having the highest score in the Annual Revolver Shoot.

My opportunity to get transferred out west came when a member in ‘F’ Division requested a compassionate transfer to Niagara Falls.  As I had previously indicated my interest in returning to provincial policing, I was transferred to “D” Division. The member from “F” Division took my position in Niagara Falls.

From late 1948 to 1952, Dan served in Brandon Sub/Division and was stationed at Brandon, Killarney, Melita, and Clear Lake Detachments. During his second posting to Killarney, he was sent on a 6 week Refresher Course to Fairmont Barracks in Vancouver. During a casual conversation with Sr. Academic Instructor Art Cookson during the graduation party, he enquired if the recent vacancy of the typing instructor position had been filled.  S/Sgt. Cookson asked if he was interested. After giving some thought over night, he submitted a written application prior to getting on the train to go back to Brandon.  His main reason for applying was his attraction to Vancouver.

Joins Force’s Training Branch

On returning to Brandon, he was sent as Constable i/c of a three-man detachment at Russell, Manitoba.  After approximately a month at Russell, he was ordered to report immediately to Fairmont as Academic Instructor.  He began teaching typing, report writing and detachment returns to members of the BC Provincial Police attending Indoctrination Courses at Fairmont.  495 members of the BC Provincial Police had been absorbed into the RCMP in 1951.  Each Indoctrination Class was 6 weeks long. Fairmont Training Sub/Division also trained First Part Recruit Troops (3months), and 6 week Refresher Courses.  Altogether, twenty-five troops were trained between 1951 and 1954. Dan started out working only with Indoctrination classes, but due to the retirement of a senior instructor, he was assigned many additional academic subjects to teach all classes training at Fairmont.  This required a great deal of research and study.

In 1953 he took a Swimming Instructor’s Course at UBC so he could teach swimming to recruit classes.  A 32 passenger bus was used to transport troops to the local YMCA swimming pool. Troops also had to be taken to the rifle and revolver ranges in Burnaby and North Vancouver.  He drove the bus for the Swimming classes, but as junior staff member, he was often called upon to drive the bus to take troops to the rifle or revolver ranges, drive a one-ton truck to pick up recruits at the train station, or use a police motorcycle to deliver mail to Vancouver Sub/Division, (Jericho Beach).  According to Dan, it was the best job he ever had.  He particularly enjoyed riding the motorcycle.

He married Maxine Moon in Brandon in 1953 and they rented a small house in Burnaby. Maxine found employment at Workman’s Compensation next door to Fairmont.  This was very convenient. When Fairmont Training Sub/Division closed in 1954, Dan accepted a posting to “Depot” as an Academic Instructor. Prior to being transferred, he was promoted Corporal.

On arriving at “Depot”, Dan continued to teach typing, detachment returns and report writing. In 1955, he became NCO i/c the Training Office, but also lectured on First Aid and Current Affairs  in order to keep his instructor’s badge. In 1955 he put his equitation training to good use, riding with 9 other members (including Ralph Cave) in the Calgary Stampede Parade. He also took flight training and has been flying since 1954.  He owned an aircraft for over five years.

In 1958 he was transferred to Yorkton Sub/Division as NCO i/c Langenburg Detachment.  In 1960, he returned to “Depot” as a Criminal Law Instructor.  He was subsequently promoted  Sergeant and taught law and related subjects to recruits, refresher courses and Canadian Police College Classes. In 1961 he travelled to Ottawa, where Governor General Vincent Massey made him a Serving Brother and Life Member of St. John’s Ambulance. In 1961 he attended a ten-week Canadian Police College Class at Rockcliffe.  In 1964, he became Senior Academic Instructor and was promoted Staff Sergeant.  In 1966, he was transferred to “P” Division, Penhold, Alberta as the Training NCO.  Penhold was a military base that had suitable accomodation.  Instructors at Penhold taught Second Part Recruit Training and Refresher Courses. In 1967 he received the RCMP Long Service Medal and the RCMP Centennial Medal.  In 1968 he retired to take a position as a Special Agent with Insurance Crime Prevention Bureau in Vancouver.  His desire to live in Vancouver was a major factor in this decision.  He began investigating insurance frauds and specialized in fire investigation.

Advances In Life

In 1970, he was promoted as Manager of the Western Division. (Four Western Provinces)  Dan attended many fire investigation courses in Western Canada, giving lectures and representing the Bureau.

In 1971 he became a Director of the International Association of Arson Investigators.  Working with local fire departments, police officers and insurance adjusters, he organized the first Canadian Chapter of IAAI and was elected President. He was President of BC Chapter #15, for 9 years and newsletter editor for 15 years.

After serving on the IAAI Board of Directors for over 10 years, Dan was elected President of the International Association of Arson Investigators.  He was the third Canadian to be President in the 35 year history of the Association.  At the time of his Presidency there were 8500 members in 10 countries around the world.  In 1984 he was elected President of the Canadian Association of Fire Investigators (CAFI).  He served a two year term.  At that time CAFI had 1200 members in Canada.

In 1985, The BC Chapter hosted the first IAAI Annual General Meeting held outside of the USA. Dan was Principle and lead organizer. The meeting was held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver.  Over 800 people attended the seminar. It was the first AGM to record attendance at meetings and required students to pass written examinations to gain certification.  The Board of Directors of IAAI declared the training program to be outstanding and the best in the 38 year history of the association.

Over the years he became very involved in training fire department officials, police officers and insurance adjusters. During his 25 years with the Bureau, he burned 36 houses and over 100 cars under controlled circumstances. He organized and conducted many fire investigation courses.  He lectured to RCMP members taking courses at Esquimalt Naval Base, Fairmont, “Depot”, and Ottawa, and to Block 4 municipal police classes at the Justice Institute of BC. He also lectured to detectives in the Edmonton and Victoria Police Departments and to the Saskatchewan Police College.  He was recognized as an expert witness in Fire Cause Determination in all courts in BC and Alberta.  He was a witness for the prosecution in many court cases, including a murder trial in Calgary and successfully assisted police with a murder case in Vernon.

He also gave lectures on fire investigative techniques to, police, fire service personnel and insurance adjusters in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. He was a Certified Fire Investigator in Illinois and Wisconsin and Instructor and Field Supervisor with Virginia State Police.

In 1973, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from IAAI.

In 1982 he was only the third Canadian to be elected as President of the International Association of Arson Investigators (8,000 members).

In 1984 he served a two-year term as President of the Canadian Association of Fire Investigators (1200 members).  Later he was made a Life Member of both Associations and is the only person to be President of IAAI and CAFI.

Due to his Criminal Law Instructor background, Dan quickly recognized that Part IX of the Canadian Criminal Code had not been updated since 1895. Part IX dealt with all fire related offences.  In 1973, he prepared a resolution to have Part IX revised to make it more effective and current.  The resolution was passed at the IAAI Annual Meeting in Kamloops and supported by BC Chiefs of Police, BC Fire Chief’s Association and the Association of Fire Marshals & Fire Commissioners.  It took several years and Dan had to make a number of trips to Ottawa, before Part IX was amended.  The revised sections made it much easier to convict fire setters.  Due to his initiative in successfully changing the Criminal Code of Canada, and on the recommendation of the BC Attorney General, Dan became an Associate Member of the BC Chiefs’ of Police, serving with them until retiring from the Bureau in 1993. He is also a Life Member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

In 1967, Dan Lemieux joined the RCMP Veterans’ Association.  Since 2003, after taking over the Honor Guard from Jack Duggan, he has been tireless in supporting the various committees and initiatives on behalf of the Association.  His involvement and achievements are outlined below:

  •  October 25, 1995, Dan was made a Life Member of the Vancouver Division;
  • In 2003, Dan took over the job as Guard Coordinator and organized four Honor Guard teams and six Commanders to attend funerals and memorial services for retired or ex-members. At that time, he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors.
  • As Ceremonial Troop Commander, he led RCMP veteran marching units in Remembrance Day services, Fallen Member’s ceremonies Change-of-Command ceremonies and Salute to Military Veterans at BC Place Stadium.

In 2009, at the request of Deputy Commissioner Peter German, Dan became a special events docent and lecturer at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. When the possibility was discussed of the Museum being moved to North Vancouver, Dan developed a power point presentation entitled “RCMP Schooner St. Roch – Workhorse of the North”. He has since given over 25 lectures to the public and is prepared to give free lectures to any interested associations, seniors groups or school or college students.

 

Most recently, the President of the Vancouver Division invited Dan to provide a “St. Roch” presentation during the 2012 Annual General Meeting Cruise to Alaska.   Dan’s energy level continues to impress many.  He considers his experience and training in the RCMP is responsible for any success he may have had after leaving the Force.

 

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