March 22, 2013 - 4:56 PM
By Julie Whittet
While many were shocked to hear of Supt. Bill McKinnon's plans to leave the Kelowna RCMP Wednesday, City Hall knew it was coming.
“It wasn't unexpected,” said Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray. “We knew it was likely he would retire sometime this year, I've know that for a number of months.”
McKinnon will retire after 38 years of policing, the last nine as officer in charge of Kelowna detachment. McKinnon himself has so far not said anything publicly. His retirement was announced in a short news release by RCMP spokesperson Kris Clark, who says McKinnon has no plans to meet with the media.
Gray says McKinnon did an impressive job handling seasonal fluctuations in city's population and crime. Policing is particularly challenging in Kelowna. Its resources are based on a population of 117,000, but that number stretches to 1.5 million visitors each year, mostly in summer.
“It skews all statistics for crime here,” Gray says.
But McKinnon was always up for the challenge with a “follow me” attitude, he says. “He's been very hard-working, he would be out there on patrols on hot summer nights."
Gray also credits McKinnon for introducing a more pro-active strategy to policing crime in the city, such as targeting known criminals.
“Rather than waiting until the horse is out of the barn, it's being there before the horse gets away,” Gray says. “He's prepared our community for going forward very well.”
As for McKinnon's future, Gray says he's not the kind of guy to put his feet up.
“He's not about to go out and buy a rocking chair,” Gray assures. “I'm absolutely convinced he'll go on and do something completely different.”
McKinnon's last day is March 28.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013