Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Brenda Lucki has been appointed to serve as the chief of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Lucki, who has worked for the national police force for over three decades, will take over as commissioner next month.
It seems that Trudeau is redeeming himself as a progressive political figure following the “mansplaining” scandal that occurred last month. Lucki is the first woman appointed to lead the RCMP in 150 years the organization has been active.
Lucki’s predecessor Bob Paulson retired in June 2017 after five years of holding the position. During his reign, the RCMP came under fire for reasons involving a number of scandals. From accusations of discrimination to sexual assault allegations, the RCMP’s reputation has been severely tarnished in recent years.
Trudeau hopes that Lucki will be able to restore the Mounted Police to its former glory. Trudeau believes that Lucki’s position on the force will “play a vital role in advancing reconciliation with indigenous peoples, promoting gender equality,” and addressing workplace harassment.
The RCMP, more commonly referred to as “Mounties,” was first established in 1873. The force has around 20,000 uniformed members who are are responsible for many tasks, some of which are handled in the United States by federal agencies.
The vast majority of Mounties, however, are located within Canada’s borders and provide policing services to rural communities throughout the country. The Mounties are responsible for policing over 600 Aboriginal communities. The damaged reputation of the RCMP is partially due to the mistreatment of indigenous peoples. Lucki, who was awarded a United Nations medal of bravery for her work with indigenous communities, may be a key player in salvaging the relationship between these communities and the RCMP force.
“We hope her selection and appointment will trigger an era of renewed investment for the 17,000-plus men and women who serve across the country, and a more supportive environment for female members in particular,” said Brian Sauve, founder of the National Police Federation.
Appointing a woman to the role of commissioner of the RCMP is a step in the right direction, but Canada needs to continue its work to make sure women are not longer subject to harassment or abuse by their police force. Only time will tell how Lucki’s appointment will change the RCMP, but we at NYMM believe that they are “lucki” to have her.
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