Surrey RCMP’s top boss Dwayne McDonald is moving on to a new role as the RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.
A successor has not yet been announced and Assistant Commissioner McDonald will continue to be Officer in Charge of Surrey RCMP until a replacement is chosen.
“Despite my departure from Surrey detachment, I will continue to police in Surrey, as I have since 2007,” McDonald said Wednesday.
When McDonald assumes his new role, he will still be working out of Surrey, at RCMP “E” Division headquarters near Green Timbers forest.
“In this new role,” he said, “I’ll be responsible for federal investigative services and organized crime. This includes such issues as financial crime, cybercrime, money laundering, terrorism, national security, major crime, gangs, drugs, firearms – all of these issues can impact Surrey, as well as many other communities across the province.”
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McDonald said he’s “very mindful” that some people may view his departure “as a harbinger” of the 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.”
McDonald told reporters Wednesday afternoon that he has “no issues” with Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, amid the proposed transition to a city police force.
“We have a cordial relationship,” he said. “My decision to leave has nothing to do with the policing transition.”
McDonald said it wasn’t an easy decision to make, as his past three years in charge of the Surrey detachment “have been the most interesting and engaging in my career.”
Meantime, Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis said she’s “thrilled” for McDonald.
“He’s shown exceptional leadership in Surrey through some very, very tough times. He’s an amazing police officer and an amazing leader.
“I really, in many respects, hate to see him going,” she said. “I know we’ll be left in good hands with his leadership team and the incoming new police chief.”
“Quite frankly, I think they’ve done an exceptional job,” Annis said of the RCMP. “Their crimes stats are down, yet they don’t have enough members. There’s a real dedication to serve the community.”
She said she has no insight into when Surrey RCMP’s next officer-in-charge will be hired.
“We just heard at city hall that this is taking place,” she said. “There’ll be a process in place but I know that Assistant Commissioner McDonald is planning to stay throughout when the new police chief is announced and will see through the transition.
“I know we will be in the hands of good leadership.”