RCMP’s new commanding officer places road safety, domestic violence, and outlaw motorcycle gangs among her policing priorities
RCMP Chief Supt. Joanne Crampton is stepping into the top cop role in Prince Edward Island armed with an intimate knowledge of the crime scene on the Island. The Guardian’s Jim Day sits down with Crampton to discuss her priorities.
RCMP Chief Supt. Joanne Crampton does not need any briefing on the criminal scene in Prince Edward Island.
Crampton, 49, is stepping into the top cop role in the province armed with an intimate overall knowledge of the level and type of crime taking place on the Island.
The new commanding officer of the RCMP for P.E.I. has spent the past two years working on the Island as criminal operations officer.
Crampton, a 27-year veteran of the national police force, says she is “really familiar’’ with all the policing priorities right across the province.
Over the past couple years, she has helped create a more “robust intelligence unit’’ with two crime reduction analysts and a provincial analyst added to the two federal analysts that were already in place.
She says the RCMP in P.E.I. has helped reduce crime by targeting prolific offenders.
Other areas that will remain big priorities for policing under Crampton’s command is road safety with continued focus on impaired driving and distracted driving.
She adds domestic violence is also a key file that is receiving diverse, creative input.
“We have some great, robust committees that work on domestic violence,’’ she says.
Crampton, in her role as criminal operations officer, placed her own priority in gathering intelligence on outlaw motorcycle gangs in P.E.I.
She says police are seeing an increase in criminal activity by bike gangs in the province, most notably by Bacchus, the second largest outlaw motorcycle gang in Canada.
“Although it seems to be all very quiet here, we always have to remember that all of these clubs are intertwined right across Canada,’’ she says of crime gangs.
Crampton, a native of Saskatchewan, says she considered the areas of psychology and law as possible career fields before she decided policing would be an exciting, diverse job with the opportunity to move across the country.
Her career as a police officer has, indeed, offered both a good deal of diversity and plenty of movement.
Crampton’s first posting was in Surrey, B.C. where she worked front-line duties and the drug section. In 1995, she was transferred to Alberta, again working the front line and the drugs section as well as in intelligence.
She was transferred to Regina, Saskatchewan in 2003, where she worked as a facilitator, training coordinator and in corporate planning at the RCMP Training Academy Depot.
In 2008, she received her commission to Halifax, N.S. as the executive officer for the commanding officer. She worked first as operations officer and later as intelligence officer for Nova Scotia before her promotion in 2013 to criminal operations officer in Prince Edward Island.
“I would rather be in an operational position,’’ she notes of her career path.
“I find it more intriguing. I like being part of the front line. I like being part of the groups that are doing the arrests.’’
Crampton and her husband, who is an officer with the Halifax Regional Police, have a daughter.
Other than her family, the commanding officer says she does not really have interests outside her work. She concedes that she is a driven career woman who lives to work, rather than one who works to live.
“I think that is just my way of doing things and I love my work,’’ she says.
Chief Supt. Joanne Crampton has taken over from Chief Supt. Craig Gibson as the RCMP's commanding officer for Prince Edward Island.