RCMP gets new detachment commanderInsp. Matt Peggs not yet ready to talk about his top priorities as city's top cop
Northern News Services
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
The RCMP in Yellowknife have a new detachment commander - one who doesn't want to jump to any conclusions in setting policing objectives and priorities for the city.
The Yellowknife RCMP's new detachment commander Insp. Matt Peggs arrived in the territory in July and has been working in his new capacity since the end of August. - James Goldie/NNSL photo
Insp. Matt Peggs is still relatively new to the North, having transferred to the NWT from Saskatchewan earlier this summer and taking on the role of detachment commander on Aug 24. That newness is precisely the reason Peggs doesn't want to lay out just yet what his top priority is as the city's top cop.
"Right now I can say I'm working with the communities we police - which are Dettah, Ndilo and the city of Yellowknife - to kind of determine what their policing priorities are and how we can work together to achieve those," he said. "I'm still very much in discussions with them about that so I think it's more fair for us to work those out before we say."
Peggs said he expects to know those priorities in about a month.
Originally from Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ont., Peggs said being an officer was something he wanted to do his whole life. He has spent his entire career until now in a variety of posts in Saskatchewan.
"In my 15 years there I've worked in numerous different postings. A lot of uniform postings, so general policing, First Nations policing," he said. "(I've) work in several different plain-clothes investigative sections during my time so I think I bring a wide variety of experience to working here in Yellowknife."
Although Peggs has been on the job for more than a month, it was not until Sept. 18 that his predecessor Insp. Frank Gallagher, officially retired. RCMP spokesperson Const. Elenore Sturko said having some overlap with between Gallagher's departure and Peggs coming onboard is fairly common when the outgoing person is retiring.
"The way our retirement works is if you have any leave at the end of your career, then you take your leave. You sort of ease into retirement," she said. "People do often take transitioning leave right before they retire."
Having worked for both inspectors, Sturko said that she feels they're both strong leaders but also have different styles.
"I don't want this to sound ageist or anything, but he's still very young, very modern. (He) has some great ideas and I think that membership is very excited to have him as leader," she said.
While Peggs reiterated his desire to wait until he had finished his community consultation process before asserting his top priorities, he spoke directly to at least one issue facing the city.
"Obviously in downtown Yellowknife there appears to be issues with addictions and the homelessness and I think that, looking forward, this is one of those things we need to engage with other partners to deal with these social issues," he said. "We as the RCMP cannot take on this problem by ourselves. We need to engage these other partner agencies in trying to solve this issue."
Peggs did not cite specific organizations he had in mind, but rather "whoever brings something to the table."