It is a tide of change for the RCMP with the first woman appointed as Commissioner.
With civilian oversight the new RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki will have the support and guidance from those in the ranks that maybe resistant to change or are unwilling buy into the benefits of a respectful workplace, those who think they are above the law, those who bully co-workers, those who are racist, yes a huge task.
“Brenda Lucki has been named the RCMP’s new commissioner, the first woman to take on the top post permanently.
At a ceremony in Regina, at the RCMP’s training depot, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced Lucki’s new role, touting her as the leader the Mounties need as the national police force grapples with “internal challenges,” including alleged abuses of power and racial bias.
“Lucki has made it her mission to serve the public. She’s known for being a hard worker, a dedicated officer and as someone who is constantly looking for ways to improve the status quo,” Trudeau said, adding Lucki is “absolutely the best person for the job, who just happens to be a woman.”
The prime minister said Lucki will play a vital role in advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, promoting gender equality, addressing workplace harassment and protecting the civil liberties of Canadians.
Facing the prospect of a new union for RCMP members and the fallout from a class action lawsuit over harassment in its ranks, Lucki said she is prepared for the potentially bumpy road ahead.
“I plan to challenge assumptions, seek explanations and better understand the reasons how we operate. This means that no stone will be left unturned. And if what we find works, then we carry on until we unearth the issues that need addressing,” she said.”
There are many other serious issues facing the new Commissioner Brenda Lucki.
The ‘bumpy road’ includes low moral, PTSD among the ranks, mental health, workplace bullying, racism, sexual harassment, the promotion process, grievance and complaint process, the creation of a union for the members and other concerns by the officers.
Her career certainly reflects her skills and dedication as an administrator.
I am happy for Commissioner Lucki and her journey to being the first woman to lead the RCMP into the modern world. It is always great to see woman find success. In many ways our paths, and initially reflected on the similarities as women joining the RCMP with hopes and dreams, were parallel. We both loved our work as officers, equally committed and dedicated to serving and protecting our community and upholding the standards as RCMP officers, and there the similarities end. One path had no bumps the other with obstacle after obstacle placed at every turn. Do I feel bitter? No way, being Commissioner was never part of my dreams. I like the decisions I made to arrive, to make it to this day. There are many officers who have smooth, happy, career paths which is wonderful and many who have those obstacles. Those on the frontline understand the daily challenges ahead.
Over the last several days, I was surprised how many people wanted to know my opinion on the appointment by Prime Minister Trudeau and the committee. For me the decision had nothing to do with gender. It was all about the leadership qualities, a willingness in collaboration, wanting to listen to others, to be curious about what is working and what is not, seek outside help, someone who has similar experiences in the frontlines. Those are the qualities that I was looking for as the next Commissioner. The vetting process takes time for the many viable candidates and it is important to be patient as the changes begin.
I wish the new RCMP Commissioner the best of success on her next journey.