Lower Mainland Integrated Teams under new structure and new Officer-in-Charge

THE RCMP and municipal police partners on WEdnesday announced a new executive structure and a new Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Lower Mainland Integrated Teams.
Operating from the RCMP Lower Mainland District Office (LMDO), the Integrated Teams (I-TEAMS) will be newly-aligned under a single command structure to consolidate and enhance service delivery to the 33 communities served by the teams. The new structure will be led by Superintendent Brian Edwards.
Providing specialized police service to 13 RCMP detachments and five municipal police departments serving nearly two million people in the Lower Mainland, the five I-TEAMS are:
•    Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT)
•    Integrated Police Dog Service (IPDS)
•    Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team (LMD ERT) 
•    Integrated Collision Analysis Reconstruction Team (ICARS)
•    Integrated Forensic Identification Service (IFIS)
“The I-TEAMS are extremely skilled in each of their disciplines and provide an unprecedented service, often exceeding, or leading provincial policing standards,” said Edwards. “I am very excited to be part of a group of remarkable program leaders who, along with their teams, are committed to excellence in specialized policing and providing exceptional service to Lower Mainland communities.” 
The changes were made in consultation with and supported by the Integrated Team Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the Province of British Columbia, which oversees the RCMP as B.C.’s Provincial Police Force. The ITAC is made up of representatives from partner municipalities and the provincial government and senior managers with the LMDO. 
“I am very pleased that Superintendent Edwards has agreed to become our new OIC. He is well-respected and as a member of ITAC, I have had the pleasure of working with him for several years. Through his concerted efforts, he has enhanced communication and engagement with members of ITAC. I am confident in his abilities to build upon the success of the Integrated Team model and the exemplary service these teams so effectively and efficiently bring to our communities to enhance public safety,” said Francis Cheung, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Langley and Co-Chair of the LMD’s RCMP Chief Administrative Officers’ Forum.
The concept for the integrated team model began in the early 2000s with the creation of IHIT. Since then, four more teams have been added to the suite of specialized police services enhancing public safety in the Lower Mainland.
“With the I-TEAMS now under one command structure, our intention is to continue to maximize police service—administratively and operationally—and to improve communications and oversight by our partners,” said Assistant Commissioner Stephen Thatcher, Lower Mainland District Commander, who oversees policing service in the largest RCMP district in the country. 
“The complexity and scope of these investigations—homicides, fatal collisions, forensic identification—continues to grow, as do the demands for accountability and transparency. And importantly, the I-TEAM model is there to assist communities in complex investigations or large scale emergencies that could result in significant costs for a single municipality to bear without the shared approach provided by this unique model,” added Thatcher.

Municipality / Integrated Team
* Abbotsford: IHIT, IPDS
* Delta: IPDS, LMD ERT
* New Westminster: IPDS, IHIT, LMD ERT
* Port Moody: IPDS, IHIT, LMD ERT
* West Vancouver: IHIT, ICARS, IFIS
* RCMP – 28 Lower Mainland Communities: IHIT, IPDS, LMD ERT, IFIS, ICARS

Edwards started his career with the Calgary Police Service working in multiple program areas including frontline policing, recruit and in-service training, and led the development of legal agreements in preparation of the Calgary G-8 Leaders Summit.
In 2003, he transferred to the RCMP and was assigned to Richmond Detachment as a front-line officer. He then worked in various roles including supervisory functions as a corporal and sergeant.
Commissioned to the rank of inspector in 2011, he was appointed as a Level I Grievance Adjudicator and served in that capacity until 2014 when he became the Officer-in-Charge of the Employment Requirements Unit in response to the modernization of the RCMP Act.
He was later assigned to the role of the Government Liaison Officer and oversaw contract and service delivery matters with the Province of British Columbia Policing and Security Branch. More recently, as the LMD Corporate and Client Services Officer, he was responsible for strategic and business planning, risk management, integrated police services and was the key interface between the District and contract municipalities.
Supt. Edwards has a law degree and a Masters in Linguistics. Both degrees are from the University of Calgary.

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