THE RCMP on Friday announced the appointment of Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald as the next Commanding Officer of the RCMP in British Columbia.
McDonald will assume the rank of Deputy Commissioner when he takes over command from Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan on July 1. No decisions have been made yet with respect to a formal change of command ceremony.
Strachan said in a statement: “After 33 incredible years with the RCMP, I have made the difficult decision to retire so that I can spend more time with my family.
“I joined the RCMP because I wanted to make a difference and contribute to change. My career has certainly provided me that opportunity and a lot more. I have had the honour of working in multiple detachments, sections, Provinces and a peace keeping mission in Haiti. When I was named the Commanding Officer of the RCMP in BC, my 13th and now last physical relocation, brought me back home to BC where my policing career started.
“I am extremely honoured to have served as the Commanding Officer of the BC RCMP and work with some truly incredible police officers, civilian employees and volunteers. There is a great deal of diversity, innovation and expertise within our organization and an unwavering commitment to keep our communities safe. I have also enjoyed the collaboration and engagement from Indigenous leaders, local and provincial governments and our public safety and law enforcement partners and agencies throughout the province. There is a collective interest to do the very best we can when it comes to public safety.
“I will be leaving the position next week but in very capable hands. I am excited that Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald will be the next Commanding Officer for the RCMP in BC. A/Commr. McDonald is a great leader with the expertise and passion to continue to move our people and policing forward in BC. Policing in BC is complex and A/Commr. McDonald is ready to take on the challenges, build on best practises and explore the new opportunities.
“To my RCMP colleagues, you have my utmost respect and have make me proud with your courage and professionalism through the pandemic. While many were at home, you were on the front lines. Thank you for your continued service and dedication.
“To British Columbians, thank you for your community engagement and support. Initiatives like my hometown city of Vernon’s creation of RCMP Appreciation Day is just one example of the amazing support and recognition we have received from our contract partners and citizens around BC.”
McDonald said in a statement: “I am excited and truly honoured to be named the next Commanding Officer of the BC RCMP. Our police officers and civilian employees continue to meet and exceed expectations in the ever changing and challenging landscape of policing and public safety. I have had the pleasure of serving in British Columbia in municipal, specialized operations and federal policing positions throughout my 26 year career with the RCMP.
“I know that policing is evolving. I am ready to be part of the change and work with our people, partners and communities to make it even better. Our policing team will succeed if we set shared goals, have clearly defined roles, enhance our relationships and increase trust and confidence. I want to continue to build on Deputy Commissioner Strachan’s legacy and I am optimistic about the way forward.”
PUBLIC Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in a statement: “It is my pleasure to welcome Dwayne McDonald to the role of commanding officer of the B.C. RCMP. Deputy Commissioner McDonald brings a wealth of experience to the job – his 26 years in the RCMP have all been in service to British Columbians.
“Deputy Commissioner McDonald’s long career in the RCMP started as a front-line officer with the Burnaby RCMP and includes serving as officer in charge (OIC) of the Surrey RCMP detachment. He also served as OIC of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, a senior role with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and most recently as criminal operations officer, Federal Investigative Services and Organized Crime. This experience leaves him well positioned as commanding officer of the largest RCMP division in Canada, to tackle key priority issues in policing today and into the future.
“We have high expectations of the RCMP who provide policing in municipalities and Indigenous communities right across B.C. We expect its members to serve with dedication and professionalism, ensuring the safety of British Columbians.
“I will be meeting soon with Deputy Commissioner McDonald to discuss our expectations and policing priorities for the Provincial Police Service, which are a direct reflection of the mandate given to me by the Premier. The work by the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act is reviewing the role of police with respect to mental health, harm reduction and systemic racism. The all-party committee will make recommendations to the legislature on how B.C.’s Police Act can be modernized to ensure police services are fair, equitable and responsive to vulnerable groups. I am confident that Deputy Commissioner McDonald is prepared and committed to support this new approach to policing in B.C.
“I want to wish Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan all the best in her retirement from the RCMP. She has had a stellar, decades-long career in the RCMP and has served British Columbians with the utmost professionalism, passion and dedication. On behalf of all of us, I thank her for her service.”