Surrey RCMP leadership to change

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald Photo by Jay Sharma of Mahi Photo Studio

ASSISTANT Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, Officer-in-Charge of Surrey RCMP Detachment has been selected to become the RCMP’s Criminal Operations Officer in charge of Federal, Investigative Services and Organized Crime (FISOC) for the Province of British Columbia.

He will be responsible for overseeing federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C. This includes issues such as financial crime, cyber crime, money laundering, national security, major crime and gangs.

It is anticipated that McDonald will be staying on as the Officer-in-Charge of Surrey Detachment until a new commander is named.

McDonald in a statement noted: “I am mindful that some may view my departure as a harbinger of policing transition in Surrey. I want to assure both the citizens of Surrey and the Surrey RCMP team that this is unequivocally not the case. As it stands right now, the City of Surrey’s contract for RCMP policing services has not been terminated. The Province of B.C. has put in place a robust and objective process to study the City of Surrey’s proposal for a municipal police force, and I am confident that their decision on this matter will be fully informed.”

As there is a continued and renewed focus on federal and organized crime investigations, McDonald’s previous positions with the Gang Task Force, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit BC (CFSEU-BC) and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), brings considerable experience and talent to this position recently vacated by retiring Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett. Hackett started his 31-year career with the RCMP in the Lower Mainland and his contributions to investigative standards and police leadership should be acknowledged, the BC RCMP said in a media statement.

It also noted: “The BC RCMP appreciates that many people may have questions and / or concerns about how this will impact Surrey with respect to the proposed Surrey Transition Policing Plan.”

“I would like to ensure everyone, that the BC RCMP, the Lower Mainland District Office and the City of Surrey are fully engaged in the process of seeking a replacement for Assistant Commissioner McDonald as soon as possible to ensure the least amount of disruption to members, staff and the community,” said Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, Commanding Officer of the RCMP in BC. “Assistant Commissioner McDonald has and will continue to be an important member of our senior team, as will his successor.”

Here is McDonald’s full statement:

I am honoured to have been selected by the Province of British Columbia and the RCMP for the promotional opportunity to serve as the Criminal Operations Officer – Federal, Investigative Services and Organized Crime for the Province of BC. While I look forward to taking on this challenging and exciting new portfolio, I must admit this was not an easy decision for me to make. My past three years as the Officer in Charge of Surrey Detachment have been the most interesting and engaging in my career. Surrey has some of the most skilled and experienced police officers and municipal employees I have worked with, and their dedication to this city and to public safety is second to none. In addition, the broad spectrum of prevention and intervention programs and proactive community engagement initiatives run by Surrey Detachment is extremely impressive. Frankly, this is not an easy post to give up. I would like to thank Mayor and Council, as well as all the staff at City Hall for the privilege of serving as your Police Chief.

Despite my departure from Surrey Detachment, I will continue to police in Surrey, as I have since 2007. In my new role as Criminal Operations Officer at BC RCMP headquarters, I will be responsible for overseeing federal, investigative services and organized crime for BC. This includes issues such as financial crime, cyber crime, money laundering, national security, major crime and gangs, all of which can impact Surrey as well as many other communities across the province. I look forward to continuing to serve you in this new capacity.

I am mindful that some may view my departure as a harbinger of policing transition in Surrey. I want to assure both the citizens of Surrey and the Surrey RCMP team that this is unequivocally not the case. As it stands right now, the City of Surrey’s contract for RCMP policing services has not been terminated. The Province of BC has put in place a robust and objective process to study the City of Surrey’s proposal for a municipal police force, and I am confident that their decision on this matter will be fully informed.

To the residents and business owners in Surrey, I first want to assure you that operations and service delivery will not be impacted by my departure. The senior team of the Surrey RCMP are in place and committed to maintaining excellent service. I wish to thank you for the support and trust you have put in me to police your city. As your local police force, we have an implicit contract with you, the public, that says you trust in our ability to objectively and professionally maintain the rule of law. Your support and constructive criticism have made me a better officer and made Surrey a better place. Never forget that you, the public, have the most important voice in how your community is policed.

Thank you for giving me the honour of serving with you as Surrey’s Officer in Charge.