B.C. RCMP appoints new commanding officer

Change of command ceremony held in Surrey to welcome new top cop

As British Columbia’s Mounties welcomed their incoming commanding officer, they honoured their outgoing one, Brenda Butterworth-Carr, Canada’s first Indigenous woman to command an RCMP division.

Butterworth-Carr has retired from the RCMP after 30 years of service, the last two as head of the B.C. RCMP. Since March, she has been working in her new role as B.C.’s assistant deputy minister and director of police services.

At a change of command ceremony in Surrey on Thursday, Jennifer Strachan was officially welcomed as the head of the RCMP’s E division, the largest in Canada. Strachan is the deputy commissioner of specialized policing services for the RCMP, and left her previous appointment as Ontario’s commanding officer in April.

Strachan has also served in the RCMP for 30 years, 14 of those in front-line policing roles in B.C. She was born and raised in the Okanagan valley.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Strachan is an accomplished leader with unparalleled experience.

“I have no doubt she will continue serve our employees and the residents of British Columbia with dedication and compassion as their new Commanding Officer,” Lucki said.

Lucki also recognized Butterworth-Carr for her time as commanding officer.

“She energized and united people across the division, made time to meet with frontline employees face-to-face—recognizing their accomplishments, hearing their concerns, and advocating for their needs. She made sure employees had the support and resources they needed to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

Strachan said it felt good to be home.

“Having the chance to come home to British Columbia, to where I began my career with the RCMP, is an amazing opportunity,” she said. “I am looking forward to working closely with all B.C. RCMP employees, to meeting and collaborating with our stakeholders and partners, and continuing to build on the strong legacy and foundation that Deputy Commissioner Butterworth-Carr created in her time as the commanding officer of the B.C. RCMP.”

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The E Division Pipe Band provided music for the parade. (Photo: Nick Laba)

The change of command ceremony was held at the Cloverdale Agriplex. (Photo: Nick Laba)

Jennifer Strachan signs a parchment, symbolically accepting her command of the RCMP’s E division. (Photo: Nick Laba)

Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan and Commissioner Brenda Lucki speak to press after the event. (Photo: Nick Laba)

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