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It's all in the approach

Mavin ready to play the heavy, but will try diplomacy first

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Liard (Aug 30/02) - Brian Mavin isn't planning to issue fines first and ask questions later.

As the new protective services officer in Fort Liard, Mavin will be enforcing the community's bylaws such as those relating speed limits, dogs, noise and all-terrain vehicles.

"I've already gained a reputation for being a fair person ... but if they constantly (violate a bylaw) then they're going to get a ticket," he said.

If hostilities arise, he'll be prepared. Having been an auxiliary member of the RCMP for the past few years, he's already had to take action that hasn't made him popular with lawbreakers.

"I've been out on the highways checking for licences, I've dumped (seized) booze, and I've been involved in making arrests," he noted, adding that he will work co-operatively with the RCMP in his new position, too.

Mavin has not only lived in Fort Liard for three years, he has also taken an active role in the community.

He is acting fire chief, youth co-ordinator for the Acho Dene Koe First Nation, and a member of the social development committee and the justice committee. Therefore he knows most of the people in Fort Liard, including the youths.

"I can pretty much talk to them and by explaining things to them they might realize, 'Maybe I won't do that,' " he said.

He left his job as manager of the Northern Store to assume his new duty. There will be some training involved, however. In early September he will be going to Yellowknife for a one-week bylaw course. When that's over, he will be working a varied shift schedule and will be on call.

In the meantime, he's been keeping himself busy organizing the fire hall and trying to recruit local people for the fire department.

"I think people will recognize that I'm involved in the community," he said.

"I'm just basically making it a better community to live in ... and safer, especially for kids on the streets."