Former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson said he hopes for a renewal of the force as he passed the torch to his successor, Brenda Lucki.
Brenda Lucki was officially sworn in as the 24th RCMP comm
issioner and the first women to hold the position on a permanent basis; Beverley Busson was interim commissioner for six months in 2007.
Lucki’s list of accolades includes receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the Oder of Merit of the Police Forces in 2013 for her efforts to improve relations with First Nations in northern Manitoba.
She has also contributed to United Nations missions in both the former Yugoslavia and in Haiti, and has served as commanding officer of the RCMP training academy at Regina’s Depot Division since 2016.
Since being named to the position in March, Lucki has been tasked with a myriad of issues facing the force.
Lucki’s management team has arrived from Ottawa to start laying the framework for a five-year plan tackling things like internal bullying, harassment and reconciliation.
“My goal is that by the beginning of the year we’ll have something,” Lucki said. “I’m just not sure how long some of these things take because I’ve moved little cars, but I haven’t moved big steamboats.”
Additional guidelines are in the works to revamp processes surrounding workplace harassment, though Lucki cautions RCMP don’t want to contradict forthcoming federal legislation.
“It didn’t go this way overnight, it’s not going to change overnight,” Lucki added. “A lot of the activities we’re going to focus on is regaining the trust of employees, so whatever we do put forward, they’ll have a greater degree of trust. If they don’t trust the system, they will not trust the result.”
She plans to continue visits with detachments around the country and has received more than 500 emails detailing other issues frontline workers face. Topics range from kit and clothing to harassment, overtime and pay issues.
Still, Lucki felt there were high hopes for the future at Thursday’s historic ceremony.
”I hope the RCMP is more tolerant, it’s more inclusive, it’s more diverse,” Lucki said.
Along with family members, about a dozen members of the troop Lucki graduated with from depot were in attendance.
“Thirty two years ago I said I was going to be the first female commissioner of the RCMP when I was here at depot,” She recalled. “32 years later, here I am.”