Politics

RCMP shakes up top management

The RCMP has shaken up its management team, creating two new executive positions under Commissioner William Elliott.

The RCMP has shaken up its management team, creating two new executive positions under Commissioner William Elliott.

Several senior RCMP members who complained about Commissioner William Elliott, shown in June, have been forced out or simply left. ((Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press))

The positions of deputy commissioner east and deputy commissioner west have been created, a letter from Elliott to RCMP staff obtained by CBC News says. The positions will be in Halifax and Vancouver, respectively. Existing deputies Gary Bass and Steve Graham will assume the western and eastern roles, respectively.

In addition, the deputy commissioner positions Pacific region, northwest region, central region and Atlantic region have been eliminated. The responsibilities of the former regional deputy commissioner positions are being assumed by the new deputies east and west.

"No further changes to our regional structure or reporting relationships are being made at this time," the letter read.

Elliott also appointed some new provincial commanding officers: Assistant Commissioner Dale McGowan becomes commanding officer in Alberta, Chief Supt. Russell Mirasty in Saskatchewan, and Chief Supt. Alphonse MacNeil in Halifax.

The moves come after some other senior RCMP officers complained about Elliott to some of the highest levels of the federal government on two occasions in July. They accused Elliott, who became the first civilian to head the Mounties in July 2007, of being verbally abusive, closed-minded, arrogant and insulting.

An independent "workplace assessment" of the fractious RCMP also found that the tepid pace of reform inside the police force frustrated some Mounties.

At a news conference Thursday, an upbeat Elliott acknowledged his "shortcomings" but said the problems that have divided the force's upper echelons are in the past.  

"I am confident we are on the right track," he said. "We are moving forward." 

Still, Elliott declined to comment on a report from earlier this week that said Raf Souccar, deputy commissioner for federal policing, had been asked to leave the force.

He said that following the summer complaints, all members of the senior executive, including Souccar, had agreed to work together.

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