Meet Dwayne McDonald, Surrey’s New Police Chief – By Ray Hudson

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Chief Superintendent Dwayne McDonald is introduced by Mayor Linda Hepner at Surrey’s main detachment. Photo: Ray Hudson

Coming full circle from recruit to top cop in Surrey

Chief Superintendent Dwayne McDonald is introduced by Mayor Linda Hepner at Surrey’s main detachment.  Photo: Ray Hudson
Chief Superintendent Dwayne McDonald is introduced by Mayor Linda Hepner at Surrey’s main detachment. Photo: Ray Hudson

Surrey: This past week, the Surrey’s new police chief was introduced to Surrey’s Media by Mayor Linda Hepner and Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the Commanding Officer of RCMP’s E Division.
Chief Superintendent Dwayne McDonald comes virtually full circle, to Surrey, from his last assignment as the Officer-in-charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigative Team.
“Just about twenty-four years ago I wrote my entrance exam for the RCMP in this detachment, in this very room in fact,” said McDonald. “Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that one day I’d be coming back as the officer in charge.”

“I’m excited about this opportunity,” he continued, “for no other reason than I love being a police officer. I joined the RCMP for many reasons but at the heart of it all was, and is, a desire to help people, to meet their needs, to be available, to be open, to be transparent and to be accountable, and more importantly to serve. There’s no better place to do that than Surrey.”

In her introduction, Mayor Hepner told the audience that McDonald is no stranger to Surrey, having lived in Whalley and Guildford in his youth. McDonald got a taste of law enforcement working as a Customs Officer, while earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. In 1955 McDonald joined the RCMP assigned to the Burnaby RCMP. While there he rose to Sergeant working in General Duty, Community Special Projects, Strike Force, the Emergency Response Team and Major Crime.

After 12 years in municipal policing, McDonald transferred to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team where he served as a Sergeant, Team Leader and was later promoted to the position of Staff Sergeant, Team Commander. During his four years with IHIT (2007-2011) he had responsibility for multiple investigative teams and managed over 50 homicide investigations throughout the Lower Mainland.

In 2011 he transferred to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) where he assumed the role of Team Commander for project E-Nitrogen, the investigation into the gangland slaying of Jonathan Bacon. The next year he received his Commission to the rank of Inspector as an Operations Officer/Senior Investigator at CFSEU-BC. In addition to being an advocate for the End Gang Life campaign, he also worked to target, disrupt and prosecute individuals or groups that posed the highest risk to public safety due to involvement in gang violence.

In 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Superintendent and returned to IHIT as the Officer in Charge (OIC). As the OIC he led the largest homicide unit in Canada with 110 police officers, civilian members, and public service employees.

Chief Superintendent’s achievements include being an Accredited Team Commander with extensive training in the areas of Critical Incident Command Systems and Major Case Management. He currently sits on the Major Case Management Committee and the Integrated Kidnapping Operational Response working group. In 2015 McDonald was invested as a member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

When asked about his priorities coming to the job, he replied, “Surrey is really no different than any other large community. Homelessness is an issue, drug use and abuse is an issue, mental health is an issue, property crime in a large dynamic city is always going to be a challenge that we always need to be vigilant about, but again, engagement and an investment in youth in communities needs to continue and will continue.”

Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy, Lower Mainland District Commander and outgoing Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge supported McDonald’s selection. “Chief Superintendent McDonald is an excellent choice to lead Surrey RCMP. I have a great deal of respect for him as both a police officer and a person, and I know Surrey Detachment is in great hands.”

From Mayor Hepner, “As for the new Officer-in-Charge I can tell you he’s more than ready to step up to the job. When we set out to find a new detachment commander for Surrey, we wanted to make sure we carried on the tradition of exemplary leaders we have had at this detachment. A successful candidate not only needed the experience, the leadership and dedication for the job but also a connection to community and our city.”

Away from the job, McDonald lives in New Westminster with his wife and three children, and coaches youth Hockey.