CHARACTER NAME: Kate Williams, Chief of Police of Mendenhall, Manitoba
- Tell us a little about yourself.
Let’s see. I’m a career police officer, over 30 years now, and I’ve served in big cities all across Canada. Now I’m the chief of police in Mendenhall, Manitoba, population 16,514, and to my surprise, I love it. I’m 54, 5’3” and usually a little rounder than I like. Lately, however, I’ve been looking a little gaunt, but can you blame me, after everything that’s happened?
- Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?
I took the job of Chief of Police of Mendenhall two years ago, when the politics of the job in Toronto got to be too much. For some reason, I had thought policing in a small town would ease me nicely into retirement. So far, I’ve been shot, attacked by a madwoman, had my car destroyed by a sniper, been freaked out by a long-dead woman, and now I have to deal with bull semen and arsonists. And office politics? I had to get shot before my detachment finally pulled together behind me. The big city was never like this.
- Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be
Well, of course I have a moral code. Every good police officer has one. Mine is simple: Do the right thing, for the right reason.
- Who is your greatest friend?
Huh. I never thought of that. I’m a bit of a loner and don’t make friends easily. I have friends, of course. Well, maybe they’re friendly acquaintances. The people I’m closest to are my colleagues, especially my deputy chief, Rob McKell. Which is surprising, really, when you consider that he was supposed to be a shoo-in for the job of chief of police and I swooped in from “outside” to take it from him.
- Who is your greatest enemy?
I don’t have any personal enemies. Or, if I do, they’ve never identified themselves as such. There are people I don’t like, of course, but I avoid them. On the professional front, well, that’s a different story. You can’t be a police officer—a good one—without making enemies of the people you arrest. For me, it’s rarely personal. For them, it’s very personal.
- How do you define ‘heroism’?
Doing what needs to be done even when you’re afraid or could get hurt.
- Tell us about your family?
How much time do you have…?
My dad’s been dead for 15 years but Mom’s still hale and hearty, in spite of the accident that almost killed her last year. At 78, she’s met someone and is planning to move in with him. Took me a bit to get used to that idea, let me tell you. I have a brother, Charlie, who lives in the Maritimes. Like me, he never married. Then there’s Rose, my sister. She’s a few years younger than me, high strung, and every once in a while, a serious pain in the ass. She’s married to John, a university professor and a peach of a man with the patience of a saint. They have two kids: Sean, who’s travelling in Europe right now, and Amanda, who is the apple of my eye and who—to my joy and her mother’s outrage—has moved to Mendenhall.
- What is your greatest skill/asset
Who the heck knows? I think it’s my stubbornness, but my family and colleagues would argue that’s a failing.
- What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell).
Kids. I’m deeply uncomfortable around kids. The younger they are, the worse it is. They look at me as if I’m some kind of alien. May have something to do with the way I talk to them. ::sigh::
- How would you describe yourself?
I’m a police officer. A good one.
- How do you think others see you?
First, they see the woman, even when I’m in uniform. Almost without exception they are surprised that I am the chief of police. Then they accept and we move on. Mostly.
- What is your greatest fear?
That I’ll let another child killer go.
Books in which this character appears:
Kate features in the Mendenhall Mystery series, along with DC Rob McKell, Constable Marco Trepalli and Kate’s niece, Amanda Coburn. The series consists of: The Shoeless Kid, The Tuxedoed Man, The Weeping Woman, The Untethered Woman and The Forsaken Man.
Links, short author bio…
Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and her novels have been published by Carina Press and Falcon Ridge Publishing. Her best-known work is the Mendenhall Mystery series, featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams, “a heroine for our times,” as one reviewer named her.
Dubé writes mystery, science fiction and fantasy fiction. Her work is available as print and e-books.