Top cop

RCMP’s new com­mand­ing of­fi­cer places road safety, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, and out­law mo­tor­cy­cle gangs among her polic­ing pri­or­i­ties

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - THE GUARDIAN jday@the­ Twit­

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.

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