The territory’s RCMP V Division passed on the torch from one commander to another in a ceremony in Iqaluit May 1.
Chief Superintendent Amanda Jones took over command duties earlier in the year from Chief Superintendent Michael Jeffrey, who served as commanding officer from November 2014 to January 2 of this year.
“Each RCMP division presents unique challenges and opportunities, and V Division is no different,” said RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to the small crowd assembled at the Frobisher Inn.
Lucki described the scope of V-Division: more than 2 million square kilometres, 25 detachments, and 185 employees.
Premier Joe Savikataaq, Nunavut Commissioner Nellie Taptaqut Kusugak and other dignitaries attended, with the Inuksuk Drum Dancers adding to the ceremonial atmosphere.
“As Nunavut’s eighth commanding officer, and the first female commanding officer, I’m confident Amanda’s experience and perspective will help RCMP services evolve while respecting the long-standing traditions and customs of Nunavummiut,” said Lucki.
Lucki elaborated on Jones’ experience, including community-based, operational and leadership roles. While most of her career was spent in British Columbia, Jones served for nine months on a United Nations mission in Kosovo, and she comes to Nunavut from her most recent two-year stint in the Northwest Territories as officer-in-charge of criminal operations.
Jones is the recipient of the Canadian Peacekeeping Service medal, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo medal, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, the RCMP Long Service medal and the Canadian Forces Decoration.
Lucki noted Jones has already demonstrated her people-first mentality by visiting communities throughout the territory, hosting town halls, meeting employees, front-line officers and local partners.
‘What I’ve learned in the past three months is that Inuit communities are suffering,” said Jones in her own address to those in attendance.
Jones referenced overcrowded homes and suicide, and said these factors and more have an impact on community policing.
“I truly understand that the RCMP in Nunavut must work to represent the 85 per cent who have lived upon this land for thousands of years.”
Jones said she looks forward to working with communities to help ensure they are safe and healthy places to live.
“Amanda, your passion for working with people and communities make you the perfect fit to lead in Nunavut,” said Lucki. “I’m so proud to be working with you to diversify our organization and building respectful workplaces, and modernize our RCMP from coast to coast to coast.”
Lucki also recognized Jeffrey’s work.