Surrey gets new police chief as RCMP detachment’s planned shutdown moves forward

Brian Edwards to step down as head of Lower Mainland’s integrated teams to run Surrey RCMP

Senior mountie Brian Edwards will be tasked with overseeing the shut down of the Surrey RCMP detachment should the City of Surrey’s plan prevail over the next two years.

Edwards, a White Rock resident, will be leaving his post as chief superintendent of the Lower Mainland District Integrated Teams in January to become officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP – at which point he will become an assistant commissioner.

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The city made the announcement Wednesday, and Edwards is to participate in a media session with outgoing assistant commissioner Dwayne McDonald Thursday.

“His extensive experience in strategic and business planning will be an asset as Surrey transitions from the RCMP to a municipal police department,” said Mayor Doug McCallum via a statement.

The change of guard will occur on Jan. 6, 2020, nearly a month after McDonald criticized the budget passed by McCallum and fellow Safe Surrey Coalition council members.

McDonald told media the hiring freeze on officers will result in a reassessment of crime prevention programs in order to put more officers on the front line. His words conflicted with McCallum’s insistence that McDonald told him the RCMP can manage a second straight year without more officers. McCallum justified the hiring freeze since he plans to have the Surrey Police Department running by April 2021.

“I am looking forward to working with a team of remarkable and progressive staff members, and carrying on the work of assistant commissioner Dwayne McDonald,” said chief superintendent Brian Edwards, via the city’s statement.

It’s not known who will replace Edwards, who runs the integrated teams, including  IHIT, the homicide investigation squad.

According to the city, “Edwards started as a volunteer auxiliary constable with Okotoks RCMP before joining the Calgary Police Service in 1995. Since 2003, chief superintendent Edwards has worked with the RCMP in the Lower Mainland, serving in Richmond, the Lower Mainland district and at the provincial level. Chief superintendent Edwards has a law degree and a master’s in linguistics from the University of Calgary.”

“With his collaborative approach and ability to set and implement a strategic vision, chief superintendent Brian Edwards is the right fit to take on this role as the officer in charge of the largest RCMP detachment in Canada,” said assistant commissioner Stephen Thatcher, Lower Mainland district commander, via the city’s statement. “I have every confidence that he will continue the excellent work of outgoing detachment commander, assistant commissioner Dwayne McDonald, ensuring public safety and employee wellness.”

gwood@glaciermedia.ca

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