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UPDATE: Burnaby RCMP's chief moving on

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After four years, Burnaby's top cop is moving on.

Burnaby RCMP Chief Supt. Rick Taylor is moving on to a "senior executive position" that he is not yet able to disclose, he said in an interview.

"It is a lateral move—I'm not being promoted—but it is to a duty outside the Lower Mainland."

Taylor said he's not leaving because of any dissatisfaction with his Burnaby post. However, he's always believed senior positions have a shelf life of three to five years, and he's already reached that time frame.

And then he received a call a few months back. "My career is far from over and these sorts of opportunities don't come along every day."

He plans to be leaving the Burnaby detachment sometime in July. His successor will be Chief Supt. Dave Critchley who is returning from serving as the senior Canadian police officer in Afghanistan, mentoring the Afghan National Police.

In addition to serving in southern Alberta as a detachment commander, and in Ottawa at RCMP national headquarters, Critchley's resume includes working on security for the 2002 G8 Summit at Kananaskis, Alberta and serving as the RCMP's federal security liaison for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, and the G8/20 Summits in southern Ontario.

He will join Burnaby RCMP in early August.

Taylor, meanwhile, said he'll be leaving proud of a number of accomplishments, including implementation of a crime reduction strategy in 2009 that resulted in a significant drop in crime the following year.

Between 2009 and 2010 there was a 32 per cent decrease in robbery offences, 23 per cent drop in auto thefts, 20 per cent fewer thefts from auto and a 14 per cent dip in break and enters.

The strategy targets prolific offenders and uses crime analysis to identify crime hot spots. It also has officers compiling criminal "resumes" when they catch prolific offenders, to make a case for judges to keep them in jail. That's gone a long way towards preventing crime compared to the prior practice, releasing them with promises to appear in court, and often to re-offend, which Taylor jokingly referred to as a "catch and release program."

Taylor is also pleased that he helped to boost Burnaby RCMP's profile in the community.

"We really brought Burnaby to the place it deserved to be in terms of its profile, both in the region and certainly in the policing community," he said. "It was kind of an unknown entity when I came here in 2007."

He's particularly enjoyed getting out and connecting with people in the community, "the silent majority who really appreciate what we do and don't hesitate to shake my hand and thank me and thank the members and staff of Burnaby."

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

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