Alberta’s top RCMP officer and the first woman to hold the position announced her retirement on Tuesday. Deputy Commissioner Marianne Ryan, the commanding officer of the Alberta RCMP, announced her retirement after 35 years in public service.
Ryan has held the position since January 2014, overseeing 112 detachments and more than 4,000 RCMP employees in K Division.
“I have been truly privileged to serve as the commanding officer of the Alberta RCMP for over the past three years.” Ryan said.
“Every day I am in absolute awe of the outstanding work, dedicated service and very high level of commitment to public safety that our employees provide in all of our units and detachments across this great province.”
She was the first woman and the first openly gay person in the role, taking over when the previous deputy commissioner Dale McGowan retired.
“I don’t think I got anywhere I am because of my personal life or my sexual orientation. It’s just: ‘Could she do the job?'” she said when featured as a Global Edmonton Woman of Vision in 2014.
In June 2016, Ryan raised the Pride flag at Alberta’s RCMP K Division Headquarters. It was the first time the rainbow flag was raised there.
“It was almost emotional actually,” Ryan said at the time, her voice breaking. “If you were to tell me 10 years ago that I would do this, I wouldn’t have believed it.
“But I think it’s a great example of where we’ve come – not just in the RCMP, in law enforcement – in all aspects of society and all of our communities and Alberta itself.”
WATCH ABOVE: At the funeral of the late Const. David Wynn, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Marianne Ryan paid tribute to him.
Ryan’s leadership and sense of compassion was evident in the days following the fatal shooting of St. Albert RCMP officer Const. David Wynn in 2015.
Several times she was seen supporting a grief-stricken Shelly MacInnis-Wynn, holding her hand and offering strength in the days following the shooting.
WATCH ABOVE: Raw video of the full news conference where Const. David Wynn’s wife Shelly MacInnis-Wynn and family members speak about his condition before he died of his injuries. Ryan can be seen supporting the grief-stricken woman.
A native of London, Ont., Ryan joined the RCMP in 1982 after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario.
During Ryan’s career she has served in Manitoba, British Columbia and in Alberta. She spent her first 19 years as a Mountie in Manitoba, before moving to the west coast.
She has held a wide variety of positions in the force, including officer in charge of the Vancouver Integrated Proceeds of Crime Section, chief officer for Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia and criminal operations officer for the Alberta RCMP.
The RCMP said Ryan’s last day as commanding officer will be March 3.
The RCMP said the process to pick her successor is underway and they will be named before Ryan’s retirement.