RCMP Supt. Mark Fisher, who left the RCMP to stay on the Island, then rejoined the force to take over Nanaimo detachment, is moving to Manitoba.
When he starts his new job as Manitoba’s criminal operations officer in mid-September, Fisher will be the RCMP’s second in command in the province, overseeing 88 RCMP detachments, the major crime investigative unit, drug unit and federal enforcement unit.
Fisher, 47, took over as Nanaimo detachment commander in late 2013 from Oak Bay where he was chief constable, a job for which he left the RCMP to stay on the Island. Prior to that, he was the commander of the RCMP’s West Shore detachment.
Aside from depot training in Regina, Manitoba will be his first posting outside of B.C., which, Fisher said, he and his wife Julie see as an adventure.
“If you’d asked me two years ago did I think I was going to be a criminal operations officer in a province? No, but it’s an honour to get a chance to move and that’s the whole adventure piece again – and that’s one of the best things about the RCMP in general, is you get opportunities to do some really cool things,” he said.
Manitoba’s policing issues revolve around violent crime in the province’s north where the isolation of small “fly in only” RCMP posts present physical, emotional and mental health challenges for indigenous residents and RCMP members. There is also the drug trade, organized crime, gangs, homicide and other major crimes and border security work Fisher will oversee daily. About 1,080 RCMP members police Manitoba’s 1.282 million people.
“I think the whole scope of operations, of being involved in a large-scale file and monitoring it and working on a provincial level intrigues me because it something very different from what I’ve done in my last three or four jobs,” Fisher said.
Fisher said Nanaimo has been a great opportunity and he’d envisioned staying here a lot longer and would have like to bring in more officers to deal with ever-increasing calls for service and focus more on the root causes of those calls, but Nanaimo has high conviction rates for violent crime and sex offences.
“We have a very good conviction rate on those files and that comes down to quality investigations and that’s not something that I do. The guys do it,” he said. “We have some very competent people that have been here for a few years and do great work and I’m so very proud of that work and our ability to take those tasks on and have success in those areas.”