Brome Lake’s mayor Richard Burcombe

Brome Lake’s mayor Richard Burcombe
Richard Burcombe (Photo : Courtesy)

Tête-à-têtes with your local elected officials

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

In a recent interview with The Record, Richard Burcombe shared his journey from being a young boy in Lennoxville to his current role as mayor of the Town of Brome Lake. Burcombe spoke candidly about his experiences, motivations, and the challenges faced by his community, providing a detailed look at his life and work.

Background and early life

Burcombe’s early years were marked by significant changes. “I’m originally from Lennoxville,” he recalled. “My father passed away when I was young, around eight or nine years old. My mom remarried, and in 1961, we moved to Mansonville.” Eventually, Burcombe’s family relocated to Knowlton, where he has resided since his high school years. “I’ve been here ever since then,” he added.

The move to Knowlton was driven by Burcombe’s stepfather’s new job in Waterloo. These experiences shaped Burcombe’s sense of community and responsibility, values that would later influence his career choices.

Career in law enforcement

Burcombe’s professional journey began with a brief stint at North Electric, but it was in law enforcement that he found his true calling. “I started with the municipal police here in 1971,” he noted. “I worked my way up to sergeant and then became the Chief of Police in 1998.” His tenure as Chief of Police was marked by significant changes, including the integration of the Brome Lake Police with the Sûreté du Québec in 2002, a move that saw him become a lieutenant in the provincial police force.

Reflecting on his time as a police officer, Burcombe said, “I always wanted to help people and be part of the community. Of course, there were tough moments, like dealing with serious accidents involving people you know.” He emphasized the community-oriented nature of his work, adding, “We didn’t work by civic numbers; we knew everyone personally.”

Burcombe’s approach to policing was deeply rooted in his desire to support his neighbours and contribute to the town’s safety and well-being. “The big reason I joined was to help people and contribute to the municipality,” he said. “Even when you have to make tough decisions, like giving out tickets or making arrests, it’s about maintaining respect and upholding the law for the good of the community.”

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