Retired police officer led a career of firsts

UFV2024 0026 50thAlumni Amar Khingra

Amar Kingra joined the Abbotsford Police Department (formerly Matsqui Police) in 1981 as its first visible minority and spent 34 years in the eastern Fraser Valley before calling it a career in 2015. He was the APD’s longest serving member and had attained the rank of Staff Sargeant when he retired. “I was the only Indo-Canadian police officer in the Fraser Valley for years and often assisted other police forces in Canada, as well as in the United States,” he recalls. 

Today, Amar is enjoying his well-earned retirement, travelling the world and spending precious moments with his five grandkids.  

“There’s a real deep satisfaction and no regrets,” he says. “And UFV played a very significant role in me becoming a successful law enforcement individual.” 

Amar came to UFV in the late 1970s, when it was known as Fraser Valley College. He focused on a criminology diploma but left early to take a job with Corrections Canada. Returning a few years later, Amar earned a Business Administration certificate, and when Fraser Valley College became the University College of the Fraser Valley and launched a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree, he enrolled in the program as a part-time student. Instructors Darryl Plecas and Bill Zarchikoff (both former Criminal Justice department heads) helped guide him in his early career. He started off thinking he’d join the RCMP; it was Plecas who put him on a different path when he set Amar up on a practicum with the Matsqui PD. 

“Things moved really fast for me, and Darryl and Bill were with me all the way,” Kingra says. “Even to this day, I’m still in contact with Darryl.” 

Plecas says it was obvious from the start that Amar would give 100 per cent to whatever task he was given.

“It was also obvious that he had every ingredient of what it takes to be an outstanding police officer anywhere,” Plecas adds. “Most importantly, he had an intuitive sense of what it means to serve with complete integrity and honour. He demonstrated that throughout his very distinguished career to the good fortune of his colleagues and the citizens of Abbotsford. He has made UFV proud, and I consider it a total pleasure to call him a UFV Alumni friend.”

Going to UFV is very much a family tradition. Amar’s son Jason went to UFV and followed him into policing (he’s since moved into a government job). And his nephew, Constable Charn Kingra, studied and taught at UFV.  

When Jason joined the police force in 2014, it marked the first time for the APD that three family members were on the force at one time. Amar’s daughters, Karen and Robyn, also went to UFV before joining the Federal government, and two of Charn’s daughters also study at the university. 

“Anybody in our family who’s gone to university has gone to UFV,” Amar says with a laugh. 

There’s a very good reason for that. Amar says UFV has a community/family environment that is unique among post-secondary institutions. 

“You will not find that anywhere else,” he says. “People think if they go far away, they’ll be far ahead of others. But I went to UFV and accomplished so much in my career.” 

More than 50,000 people have graduated from UFV since 1974. Over the next year, we’ll be introducing you to 50 remarkable alumni.