The RCMP’s commanding officer for Nunavut is retiring.

Chief Supt. Steve McVarnock will step down next month. He has served with the RCMP for 32 years, spending 13 of those years working in the North.

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Chief Supt. Steve McVarnock has served with the Mounties for 32 years. (CBC)

He began his career in 1981 with stints in Iqaluit, Igloolik and Yellowknife, later worked for five years at the Cape Dorset detachment and N.W.T.'s G Division drug section, and served again in Yellowknife in 2003 and 2004.

He was first appointed as commanding officer for Nunavut in 2009.

McVarnock will be succeeded by Supt. Lindsey Brine, who takes over command in January. Brine has been with the RCMP for 25 years and has served in all three territories.

Both Brine and McVarnock plan to tour some of the RCMP detachments in Nunavut this week. They also plan to hold a news conference Friday in Iqaluit.