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Deputy Chief Norm Lipinski will start his new job with the RCMP in February. ((CBC))

Edmonton's deputy police chief Norm Lipinski said his decision to leave the force for a job with the RCMP was a personal one.

"It's a family decision. It's a personal decision," Norm Lipinski said Friday. "It's lining up all the pluses and minuses and then realizing that it's a better thing to do to go to the coast. It's a better thing to do to join the RCMP. I'm excited about it."

Lipinski will be the RCMP's assistant commissioner responsible for the B.C. lower mainland starting in February. He will stay on with the Edmonton Police until December.

The 30-year veteran had been touted as a possible replacement for Chief Mike Boyd when he retires at the end of the year.  Lipinski made the decision to take the RCMP job a couple of weeks ago.

He considered applying for Boyd's job but it hadn't been posted.

"If the posting would have been out quite some time ago, who knows? Could have been a different story today," he said.  "The possibility was certainly there. But with this opportunity there was a finite period of time and I had to make a decision on it."

Boyd said there are other strong internal candidates to replace him, thanks to Lipinski.

"I feel quite confident that there is bench strength in leadership and I feel quite confident that when the Edmonton Police Commission conducts their process in search of a new chief of police that they'll have a number of people to look at very closely within the police service," he said.

Lipinski's wife, Global News anchor Lynda Steele, will work until the end of her contract in August and then join her husband in B.C.