Chilliwack now has a new top cop.
A changing of the guard of sorts took place during the last city council meeting of the year.
Incoming RCMP officer-in-charge Insp. Bryon Massie was introduced in council chambers Tuesday, while outgoing OIC Supt. Deanne Burleigh was recognized for a four-year tenure leading the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment (UFVRD).
“I’ve known Bryon a long time,” said Mayor Gaetz, referring to Insp. Massie’s former posting here.
She told a story about when he worked on creating software to increase the legitimacy of pawn shop transactions.
The mayor reeled off some of the senior officer’s career highlights like the RCMP Member Order of Merit, and Long Service Medal.
“Congratulations on your promotion,” Gaetz told Insp. Massie. “We really look forward to working with you.”
Mayor Gaetz pointed out that Supt. Burleigh’s strategy has emphasized higher visibility, foot patrols, focus on prolific offenders, and more intelligence-led policing.
Supt. Burleigh reviewed some of the successes seen in Chilliwack, stating that the partnership approach already in place here “was absolutely incredible.”
Under her watch since 2014, there were 18 additional RCMP officers added in Chilliwack.
How did that translate?
“In 2017 we have decreased the time it takes us to respond to a 911 call in Chilliwack,” Supt. Burleigh said, adding that property crime was down eight per cent since this time last year, and violent crime, down by two per cent.
• General duty reallocated to hit hotspots
• Creation of four-officer team to suppress prolific offenders
• Boosted drug enforcement
• Officer for mental health/addiction calls
From 2011 to 2016 there was a notable spike in property crime and violent crime.
“But in 2017 we have seen a slight decrease, or a levelling off,” said Supt. Burleigh.
Insp. Bryon Massie said a few words to introduce himself as he takes over as the new top cop in Chilliwack.
He said Chilliwack was facing “big city issues” but underlined he was looking forward to “becoming part of the solution.”
In the previous presentations, the word “partnership” had been utilized 17 times, Insp. Massie underlined, and that approach will continue.
“It’s a key component of policing in this day and age.”