Ceremony officially marks RCMP V-Division change in command

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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, center right, receives the V-Division flag at a May 1 RCMP ceremony. Jones took over command duties at RCMP V Division in early January.
Michele LeTourneau/NNSL photo

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.

Elder and former Anglican bishop Paul Oodlateta Idlout recited a prayer at the RCMP ceremony marking the change in command at V Division May 1, and received a gift from RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki.
Michele LeTourneau/NNSL photo

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.

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Michele LeTourneau first arrived at NNSL's headquarters in Yellowknife in1998, with a BA honours in Theatre. For four years she documented the arts across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Following a very short stint as a communications officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Michele spent a decade at a community-based environmental monitoring board in the mining industry, where she worked with Inuit, Chipewyan, Tlicho, Yellowknives Dene and Metis elders to help develop traditional knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit contributions for monitoring and management plans. She rejoined NNSL and moved to Iqaluit in May 2014 to write for Nunavut News. Michele has received a dozen awards for her work with NNSL.