Const. Ian MacDonald is retiring from the Abbotsford Police Department after 22 years. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Const. Ian MacDonald is retiring from the Abbotsford Police Department after 22 years. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Abbotsford Police former media officer retires from force after 22 years

Const. Ian MacDonald spent eight years as public information officer

The man who served as the face of the Abbotsford Police for eight years retires this week after almost 22 years with the department.

Const. Ian MacDonald is spending his last day on Friday with a task that he has done many times over the years – speaking to a class of journalism students at the B.C. Institute of Technology.

MacDonald was the Abbotsford Police Department’s public information officer (PIO) from 2009 until the end of 2017.

His role often put him in the spotlight, as he relayed information to the public – through the media – about events that ranged from the tragic to the comical.

He said there is one thing he will miss most about his job.

“I’ve always liked dealing with and working with people. Twenty-five years ago, when I was working in HR as director of administration for a restaurant and food service company, a VP started my performance review by stating, ‘Ian, you like people. We don’t,’ ” MacDonald laughs.

He said he is now looking forward to spending more time with his family, scuba diving and travelling – “maybe write a book on a beach somewhere.”

MacDonald went into policing in 1997 at the age of 31 after an eight-year stint in the restaurant industry.

MacDonald was hired by the APD in 1997, completed his training, and then worked in patrol, followed by a period as a trainer for a new records management system known as PRIME.

RELATED: Const. Ian MacDonald reflects on eight years as media officer for Abbotsford Police

RELATED: Touched by an angel: Abbotsford police program connects with drug users

Then-PIO Sgt. Casey Vinet began pestering MacDonald to apply for the PIO position when Vinet’s stint neared its end, but MacDonald initially had no interest – that is, until he was told that then Chief Bob Rich wanted him to do it.

MacDonald had great respect for his boss, and that’s all he needed to hear. But he wasn’t sure he was the right person for the job.

“I candidly said, ‘Listen, I have no training. I tend to talk. Public speaking isn’t an issue, but public shutting up is an issue for me,’ ” he said.

Since moving on from the PIO position, MacDonald has been instrumental in the development of the APD’s mentoring program, which currently has 25 volunteer mentors and 26 at-risk youth.

He has also been a key player in the Project Angel program in response to the opioid crisis. The program helps connect people to treatment and recovery, including through connections with those who have been through it.

MacDonald was also involved in a research project at University of the Fraser Valley that looked at the Abbotsford gang situation, including the paths that lead people to becoming involved.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Mission Fire Rescue Service holding a training session in 2016. Bob Friesen photo.
Firefighter’s human-rights complaint against District of Mission dismissed

District had just reason for firing man for insubordination, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal found

The annual Toys for Tots event in Abbotsford normally includes a free breakfast for anyone who drops off a toy or cash donation. This year’s event was to be held as a drive-thru, but that has also been cancelled. (File photo)
Toys for Tots drive-thru event cancelled in Abbotsford

Public encouraged to donate cash or bring toys to drop-off locations

Abbotsford Panthers star Haidyn Vermeulen (right) celebrates his signing with the Alberta Golden Bears football program along with his mother Niki Vermeulen and father Dan Vermeulen back in September.
Abbotsford’s Haidyn Vermeulen named to CFC Prospect Game

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School student one of 14 from B.C. to earn recognition

Shane Goodvin had just bought a house with wife Laura Major when he started experiencing severe back pain. That led to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and the father of five children is now in rough shape. (Submitted photos)
GoFundMe set up for Chilliwack man fighting pancreatic cancer

Shane Goodvin has five children and a loving wife, and he’s worried about their future

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Most Read