The temporary replacement for the outgoing inspector of the Lloydminster RCMP has arrived.
Back in June, Inspector Suki Manj announced he would be leaving the local detachment to a new posting in British Columbia, where he would be serving as the Regional Duty Officer for the Lower Mainland, working out of the E Division headquarters in Surrey, B.C.
At the time, it was indicated that a temporary commander would need to take over the detachment while the search for a full-time inspector was conducted. That commander is now in place, with Staff Sergeant Brent Sawatzky sent to Lloydminster from St.Paul, Alta.
Sawatzky is a 27-year veteran of the RCMP, and previously served as a district advisor out of St.Paul for eastern Alberta, where he oversaw a number of detachments, including Lloydminster. According to Sergeant Sarah Knelson with the Lloydminster RCMP, he has been at the Border City detachment since Monday of this week, learning the ropes from Manj, whose last day was Friday.
Speaking with 106.1 The Goat, Sawatzky said he had been born in Cut Knife, Sask, and he had spent the last 20 years in Alberta with the RCMP, with the latest two taking place in St.Paul. He also said the advisory job has been placed aside for the time being, and he will now be committed to Lloydminster until a new inspector arrives.
“Inspector Manj has been going through a few things with me, showing me some things that are done here on a regular basis, and I’m certainly very impressed with the work that has been done by Inspector Manj and the members of the this detachment,” said Sawatsky.
“There is some phenomenal work here being done here.”
Sawatsky said he is aware of the unique circumstances of policing in a bi-provincial city, due to his previous work in St.Paul.
“I’m aware of it, because Lloydminster is in Eastern Alberta district I’m well aware of it, and I know there is some work being done to try and streamline the process,” said Sawatzky.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, and whatever we can do to streamline the two processes we’re going to be all over that and we’re going to make it easier for everybody.”
Sawatzky also said he knows the positive response Lloydminster residents have had to the measures put in place by Manj, and wants to continue on the same path.
“I know the community has been very happy with the efforts that he has made, and how he has brought this detachment to where it’s at, and I want to continue on with that, and if it means streamlining and helping build further on those things, then that’s what I’m all about,” said Sawatzky.
“We want to maintain and if we can, improve our service delivery to the citizens of Lloydminster.”
As for how the timeframe on finding a new inspector, Sawatzky said authorities in Ottawa are actively seeking candidates for the position. Beyond that information, there was no firm date for a new candidate to be chosen.
“Anything in the federal government does take time,” said Sawatzky.
“In cases like this, where you’re looking for somebody to be your chief of police, you want to make sure that you take the time to get the right person, and somebody who wants to carry on with what Inspector Manj has started here, and working on giving the best service delivery possible.”
Sawatzky also said any candidates for the position will eventually have to sit down for an interview with municipal authorities.
“I know they were actively involved in Inspector Manj’s selection,” said Sawatzky.
“It’s a good process that way, because it’s a big contract. The City of Lloydminster pays a considerable amount of money to have us here, to provide that policing service, we give them a say. Ultimately, the RCMP will make the final decision, and hopefully when that decision is made we’ll get the right person here.”
Asked for what he wanted to say to every citizen of the Border City, Sawatzky said he wanted everyone to know he was there to continue good service.
“The people of Lloydminster should know that I am here to provide and ensure that they get the best possible service delivery of policing services, and that all the work that Inspector Manj and the members have done to this point I plan on seeing through, and if at all possible, we will improve on that.”