Who is she?
Sgt. Justine Thom is the New Westminster Police Department’s new media relations officer.
“This is a time of change at the New Westminster Police Department, and I’m honoured to be in a role where I can share with the public what we’re working on,” she said. “We’re a progressive police department and are working hard to show we’re responsive to the needs of the public. If you have any questions, please send them our way. We treasure the opportunity to have conversations with the community.”
Thom, who was promoted to sergeant at the end of May, also oversees the department’s recruiting section and is involved in some human resources issues.
All in the family:
Policing has been a family tradition for Thom, whose father was a Mountie with the RCMP for about 40 years.
“My dad is very proud of what I have accomplished, as well my commitment to this city and desire to make a positive difference for the community,” she said.
Happy to serve:
Thom, who was born in Prince George and grew up in Powell River, has always wanted to working in policing.
“I did always want to be a police officer, from a very young age,” she told the Record. “I was really lucky in that I was introduced to somebody who worked in New West and was able to come out on a few ride-alongs, and I really fell in love with the sense of family and community that our department brings.”
Prior to joining the New Westminster Police Department, Thom took criminology courses to help her meet her goal of becoming a police officer.
“Then I was volunteering with Corrections Canada, working actually for the RCMP in a civilian position,” she said. “I really wanted to do this job, so I was happy that I got a job here.”
Thom joined the New Westminster Police Department in 2009.
“I love New West,” she said. “Not growing up in the Lower Mainland, I feel like New West, even though it is a big city, it is also a small town. I feel as though people in the community genuinely care about this city, the people that live here, and genuinely care about their neighbours. That really hits home for me, especially growing up in a small town.”
After spending her first five years on patrol, Thom was seconded to the IHIT.
“I was really lucky an opportunity came up on the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. I went there from patrol, which was a huge learning curve but I loved my experience there,” she said. “I was really happy to do the three-year secondment. It was just the right time in my life.”
Thom said she became a police officer because she really wanted to make a difference and to have an impact in the community. She said her time at IHIT was very meaningful because it gave her a chance to make an impact in the lives of families of victims of crime.
Three years later, Thom returned to the NWPD, bringing the experience gained at IHIT to her work in the New Westminster Police Department’s major crimes unit.
“In the last number of years we have had a bunch of large investigations in major crimes. Some of them have definitely made it into the news,” she said. “Our major crime section, we are a smaller unit, but being able to work together as a team and really have success on those big files that do have an impact on the community.”
A new challenge:
Thom started in her new role on June 6.
“I am super excited to be in this position, which is completely new to me,” she said. “It is a definite change from what I have been doing before. I feel like it’s the right time for a change.”
While she loved working in the major crimes unit, Thom is looking forward to being able to connect with community members about the work being done in the police department.
“This brings so many opportunities. I believe in the direction that our department is headed, I am honoured to be part of that and to share initiatives that we are working on in consultation with our strategic plan,” she said. “My own personal values are in line with our strategic plan. I really appreciate the ability to have an impact on the community with that.”
If you have questions for Sgt. Thom and the NWPD strategic communications team, call 604-529-2537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are definitely looking forward to the opportunity to have conversations with the public and hear what they think about this lovely little city,” Thom said.