Coun. Teri James (left) told Mayor Val van den Broek (right) that the RCMP could not explain why there were no women candidates short-listed for officer-in-charge of the Langley detachment. (File)

Coun. Teri James (left) told Mayor Val van den Broek (right) that the RCMP could not explain why there were no women candidates short-listed for officer-in-charge of the Langley detachment. (File)

VIDEO: No women candidates for Langley RCMP officer in charge post, council told

City mayor ‘disappointed’ at absence of female candidates

There were four candidates shortlisted for the job of top cop in Langley City and Township, and while all were “excellent,” none were women.

Coun. Teri James described to the rest of City council about the day-long process to select an new officer-in-charge (OIC) for the Langley RCMP detachment at the Monday, May 31 meeting of City council.

It was “an absolute honour” to serve on the hiring panel, James commented.

James, along with City CAO Francis Cheung, Township Mayor Jack Froese, and Township CAO Mark Bakken selected Insp. Adrian Marsden to be the new Langley superintendent after a day-long session of interviewing each candidate.

Marsden’s selection was announced May 12.

READ MORE: New top cop chosen to head up Langley RCMP

All of the prospective OICs were “exceptional,” James commented.

“We would have done well with any of them, for sure.”

In response to a question by Coun, Rudy Storteboom, James said the RCMP “pre-vets” candidates, who are then interviewed by the panel for about an hour and a half each.

In response to a question by Mayor Val van den Boek, James confirmed there were no female Mounties among the four shortlisted.

James said the question did arise among panel members as to why there were no women among the candidates during the selection process, but they were only dealing with the final four candidates.

James responded later, “I believe, without the shadow of a doubt, that had there been one or more qualified female candidates, they would have absolutely been included for consideration.”

There was no opportunity to question the RCMP on any of the other candidates.

“Whatever the machine was on their end, it was well in motion before we were given the information that we needed to make a decision,” James commented.

“I’m very disappointed by that,” van den Broek said. “Very disappointed.”

Marsden, a 28-year veteran with the RCMP has worked as an investigator with the RCMP Anti-Corruption Unit, BC RCMP Integrated Border Enforcement Team, federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit, as well as the Duncan/North Cowichan detachment plain-clothes investigative teams.

READ MORE: Langley’s top cop reassigned amid charity gala questions

Marsden replaces Supt. Murray Power, who was reassigned to RCMP E-Division headquarters in Surrey after questions were raised about police overtime related to the mayor’s Winter Wonderland Gala charity fundraiser.

In April, City council ordered a third report on that matter, and signalled they want to review the current relationship with the Mounties by looking into options that could include creating an independent Langley police service.

READ MORE: Langley City council orders third report on mayor’s gala along with a review of policing

It followed a sometimes-heated debate over the second report on the ‘gala’ issue, presented to council on Monday, April 26 that said assistant RCMP commissioner Maureen Levy confirmed one officer who attended the event had worked four hours overtime, at the suggestion of Power, to help cover the cost of buying tickets.

Levy said a “thorough review” showed $361.44 in overtime was charged to the City of Langley after the gala.

READ ALSO: One officer worked 4 hours overtime to cover tickets to Langley City mayor’s gala: report

Several members of council were skeptical, pointing to the first report by Paul Gill, the former Maple Ridge general manager of finance and corporate services, which said 35 Langley RCMP members attended the event and 19 of them came with spouses or guests, buying 54 tickets for a total value of $8,100.

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