Comm. Brenda Lucki, the current head of the RCMP, has announced she will be leaving her post next month.
The announcement comes two weeks after the top cop was in Victoria to celebrate the agency earlier in February.
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Lucki said in her announcement that the decision to retire was a personal one.
“This was not an easy decision as I love the RCMP and have loved being the 24th Commissioner. I am so incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to lead this historic organization and witness first hand the tremendous work being done each and every day by all employees from coast to coast to coast and internationally,” she said.
Lucki was sworn in to the position April 16, 2018 and was the first woman to serve as RCMP commissioner in a permanent role.
However, in recent years the agency has been at the forefront of criticism by many of its peers both provincially and federally.
One of the biggest challenges Lucki faced as commissioner was the fallout the agency faced immediately after the mass shooting event that took place in Nova Scotia in April of 2020.
Reports revealed that the agency had intentionally held back key information about the case and Lucki later made a public apology for the way the tragedy was handled.
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Most recently, her visit to Vancouver Island was overshadowed by controversy as shortly after speaking to media about systemic challenges within the force, it was revealed that two Prince George Mounties were charged with manslaughter and three others faced obstruction charges.
Lucki aimed to transform the agency, with plans to tackle institutional racism and sexism, rebuild and reconciliate with Indigenous people and overall renew the agency’s reputation as an accountable police force.
In her notice, she says she’s proud of how far the agency has come.
“We’ve made some great progress to meet the expectations of Canadians, our communities and our contract partners and I know that will continue after my last day on March 17, 2023,” she said.
“As Commissioner, I was asked to modernize and address the RCMP’s internal challenges. This was a significant mandate and with the support of my senior executive team and the commitment of all RCMP employees, we’ve accomplished a lot.”
It’s unsure who will take over her role as the new boss of the RCMP, but Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says the process to replace her is already underway.
The government will now begin the process of appointing the next Commissioner of the RCMP.
We will be searching for an exceptional new leader who will keep our communities safe while advancing the reforms necessary to maintain the confidence of all Canadians.
— Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) February 15, 2023