British Columbia

Kelowna RCMP chief stepping down to take on new role

RCMP say Supt. Brent Mundle's transfer has nothing to do with an internal investigation into the actions of Kelowna officer caught on tape repeatedly punching a suspect being restrained by two other officers.

Supt. Brent Mundle's transfer known for months, not connected to recent video of violent arrest, force says

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Brent Mundle is moving on to a position within the Southeast District Senior Management Team. Mundle has 27 years of experience on the force and spent 3½ years in his current role. (Twitter/Kelowna RCMP)

Kelowna's top cop is leaving his position after 3½ years in charge of the local RCMP.

Kelowna RCMP announced Friday that Supt. Brent Mundle is transferring to a new role with the Southeast District Senior Management Team.

Notice of Mundle's move comes just days after he announced an internal investigation into the actions of a Kelowna Mountie seen during a brief video repeatedly punching a suspect while the man is being restrained by two other officers.

According to a statement from the force's spokesperson, Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy, the transfer has been in the works for several months and has nothing to do with current events.

Mayor Colin Basran called the video "quite shocking". He also confirmed Mundle's resignation was submitted before the arrest currently under scrutiny occurred.

"Council is actually quite surprised with the move," said Basran on Friday on CBC's Daybreak South, adding Mundle was co-operative and easy to work with and he is disappointed to see him go.

WATCH | A Mountie arrives on the scene and sprints toward his fellow officers and the suspect:

Video shows RCMP officer repeatedly punching a man who is being restrained by officers

3 years ago
Duration 0:16
This video of an arrest by Kelowna RCMP has resulted in an internal investigation into the officer's actions.

Criticism concerning sexual assault cases

The recent video incident is not the first time the Kelowna RCMP have been in the spotlight concerning the force's conduct.

Last fall, Statistics Canada released numbers showing that 40 per cent of sexual assault cases reported to Kelowna RCMP were dismissed as unfounded — three times the national average. 

A national RCMP Sexual Assault Review Team investigated and recently determined there was an underlying clerical error in how the cases were being classified that skewed the statistics, which actually fall more in line with provincial and national averages. 

The Kelowna detachment has also faced a number of official complaints against officers, including charges of sexual assault and charges of breach of trust related to sexual misconduct against former Mounties.

Community engagement critical, mayor says

Mayor Basran said while there have certainly been incidents of concern in the community, some very good things have happened under Mundle's watch. 

In a statement, Basran praised Mundle for creating bike and foot patrols in downtown Kelowna, and supporting the development of the Child Advocacy Centre and Police and Crisis Team.

"City council was supportive of his many initiatives to make Kelowna a safer community," said Basran.

The mayor said whoever replaces Mundle would be wise to build trust, and tackle complex issues in the community by communicating regularly with the public and partnering the force with outside organizations such as health authorities and those in the social services sector.

"Law and order is maybe one component of the things we are dealing with, but it's not going to fix everything," said Basran.

With files from Daybreak South

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