Surrey’s top cop is moving onward and upward.
RCMP A/Comm. Bill Fordy has been named new Lower Mainland District (LMD) Commander with the BC RCMP.
He will continue on as Surrey’s Officer in Charge until a suitable replacement can be found.
“I’ve got a really strong team here in Surrey,” Fordy told the Leader in an interview Wednesday. “I think the processes we have in place here will allow for that type of pressure until such time as the new person hits the ground.”
As commander for LMD, he takes over for retired RCMP A/Comm. Dan Malo and will oversee the 13 detachments serving 29 communities, including Surrey.
His area of command stretches from Pemberton to the U.S. border and includes 2,500 RCMP officers and support staff.
He will also oversee all of the RCMP integrated units, such as the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, Emergency Response Team and forensics team, to name a few.
“Surrey will always have a special place in my heart and I assure the citizens of Surrey that, during this period of transition, I am committed to ensuring there is continuity and strong leadership at the Surrey Detachment,” he said.
Fordy started as Surrey’s Officer in Command in June, 2012, and was recently promoted to Assistant Commissioner.
Since he arrived here, the force has ballooned from 616 officers to 819, a jump of 33 per cent.
Fordy said a high point for him during his time in Surrey has been learning more about himself.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself as a leader, as a person, while I’ve been in this position,” Fordy said.
Some of the most teaching moments have come in adversity, which there was no shortage of.
Fordy walked into a perfect storm during his first year and a half which saw the highest number of murders in one year – 25 in 2013.
“There were a series of events that were pretty remarkable,” Fordy said. “It was tremendous experience for me as a leader.”
That year of homicides was soon followed a drug turf war that saw a number of shootings in Newton and Whalley.
In response, Fordy has worked to bring on the extra police officers, and has also increased police presence in the community with the Neighbourhood Safety Campaign, Community Engagement Teams, Bike Unit and Community Response Unit. He also initiated the detachment’s Citizen/Youth Police Academies and innovative, multi-agency Surrey Mobilization and Resiliency Table (SMART).
Outside of the one-year jump in murders and the recent drug turf war, violent crime is dropping and property crime is plummeting across the board.
His time here also had an extremely low point for Fordy.
“The hardest thing that I have ever dealt with in my career, was the loss of (RCMP Const.) Adrian Oliver,” Fordy said.
Oliver was killed when returning to the detachment when he was fatally struck by a semi-trailer truck on Nov. 13, 2012.
“There’s no manual on how to manage a situation like that, how to support the men and women that are in your hallway crying.”
He said that as a result of that, he has a completely different perspective, when any officer in the country loses his life.
Fordy’s depth of compassion is part of what made him one of the best RCMP interviewers in the country.
Mayor Linda Hepner said Fordy’s promotion is great news for Surrey.
“In his new role, A/Comm. Fordy’s expertise and knowledge of Surrey’s public safety priorities will be put to good use as Lower Mainland District Commander,” Hepner said. “Many of the issues that Surrey faces are regional in scope and having Bill in charge of the Lower Mainland District is not only welcome, but advantageous.”