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‘Rare, up in the top’ RCMP sergeant praised on way out of Rankin Inlet

Sgt. Benjamin Comely will be moving to federal policing in Iqaluit
Sgt. Patrick Frenette introduces himself to council, as he takes over Comley’s role in the Rankin Inlet RCMP detachment. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

The monthly RCMP update didn’t have much to do with policing stats at Rankin Inlet’s council meeting Monday, Aug. 22.

Sgt. Benjamin Comley used his time in council chambers to announce his departure from the community and introduce his replacement, Sgt. Patrick Frenette.

“It definitely comes with a sad heart that I am leaving Rankin already,” said Comley.

“Me and my wife were just mentioning it the other day when we were doing dishes. We were like, ‘I don’t know if it really feels right to leave yet.’”

They had a moment together, before realizing plans were already in place and Frenette was already in town and ready to go.

“It was a weird two years during Covid,” remarked Comley. “What we hoped to accomplish and do with the community, unfortunately some of it couldn’t happen for safety reasons, and understandably so. But hopefully we’re past that now and it’ll be a different two years for Sgt. Frenette.”

Frenette came from Alberta, after spending the last 12 years working in the organized crime and drugs unit. He’s fresh to Rankin Inlet with his wife and small dog, here for a minimum of two years.

“I’m sure you’ll bring good stuff like Ben did and maybe more,” remarked Mayor Harry Towtongie.

Coun. Michael Shouldice called Comley a super guy.

“Boy, your attitude, excellent – rare, like up in the top,” he said. “How you approach the problems, your relationships with people, how you have conversations with them. I notice you choose your vocabulary and the individual at the other end doesn’t feel a lot of shaming or whatever, so good for you and congratulations on your move and your team. We’re very happy to have Patrick here as well.”

Deputy mayor Martha Hickes thanked Comley for his work with the children and community events.

“You did a lot and we’re going to miss you,” she said.

Senior administrative officer Darren Flynn echoed those comments, saying it’s been a pleasurable experience working with Comley from the administrative side.

“It’s been an easy council to work with,” said Comley. “You can tell it’s not just about meetings and budgets and agendas. It’s about loving the community back.”