New RCMP Detachment Commander Brings Vision and Experience to Morinville

Morinville RCMP’s new Detachment Commander, Staff Sergeant Darcy McGunigal, stands by a cruiser at the Detachment. McGunigal has been with the RCMP for the past 22 years. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

Morinville’s new RCMP Detachment Commander, Staff Sergeant Darcy McGunigal, brings a wealth of experience and a strong vision for community collaboration to his new role. With a career spanning various postings and leadership roles within the RCMP, McGunigal’s approach to policing focuses on the community and ensuring that the Detachment’s positive work is visible to the public. 

McGunigal has seized the opportunity, spending the first two weeks as Detachment Commander making the rounds and meeting with community partners, including the region’s municipalities, Alexander First Nation, Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation, Sturgeon Victim Services and others to seek their input and concerns.

“My vision is to come up with a plan that addresses and takes all of those concerns into consideration,” McGunigal said, noting the initial weeks at Morinville Detachment have been positive and that he can already sense immense support in the community. “I find a lot of engagement, a lot of interest. They really want to work towards and progress towards the same goals that I have in mind, which is great. At the end of the day, it comes down to full collaboration and work between the community and the Detachment, all one working together.”

Two decades plus of experience

Originally from La Ronge, Saskatchewan, McGunigal moved to Regina when he was 15. His journey into policing began at 18 with a chance encounter with a recruiting officer for the Regina Police Service while working for the City of Regina in the city’s storage and inventory facilities. He was intrigued by the recruiting officer’s explanation of police work and applied to the Regina Police Service and the RCMP in 2002. The application process with the RCMP proceeded swiftly, and at the age of 23, McGunigal embarked on his career with the force. 

His first posting was in Warman, Saskatchewan, where he served as a constable for five years, from July 2002 until August 2007. Living in a small community outside Warman called Osler, McGunigal recalls being one of the few officers to live in the community

“The community really embraced me even just for showing up, just for being there,” he recalled of his early days in policing. “So it really encouraged me to get involved in the community and planted that seed early—seeing the benefits of positive community involvement. That’s something that I’ve carried with me right through the ranks as I’ve moved on to other posts working in cities as Watch Commander, being in charge of operations and eventually running detachments.”

McGunigal has accumulated a lot of experience over 22 years of policing. 

He was Acting Detachment Commander in Kitscoty in 2011 and Beaumont in 2012, following which he served the RCMP and the community of Coronation as Detachment Commander from 2014 to 2017. He also concurrently served as an Advisory NCO for nine different detachments between Edmonton and Lloydminster from 2016 to 2017.  

McGunigal, who lives in Sturgeon County with his blended family of five children, has spent the past six years before his new Morinville posting in HR at RCMP K Division in Edmonton.

The Staff Sergeant says he feels fortunate to have enjoyed every posting during his two-decade-plus policing career. However, running a detachment has been the most fulfilling. 

McGunigal sees Morinville Detachment’s extensive coverage area as a challenge that is not unique to rural Alberta. Morinville’s top cop also sees it as an opportunity because of its size and the number of diverse partners who assist in the Detachment’s work.

“The nature of our work is driven to respond to criminal activity and respond to requests for assistance and service to the public,” he said, adding that while that is the primary function, police officers mustn’t lose sight that there’s another half to that job. 

“We don’t have to be limited to interacting with the public under challenging circumstances, under difficult circumstances. A lot of times when we’re dealing with people in that kind of context, they’re experiencing the worst day of their lives. It doesn’t have to be limited to that. We can attend the schools. We can attend the public functions—the summer parades, the community events—and have that positive interaction with the community. It serves us as well as it serves the public.”

One of McGunigal’s key priorities is developing a media strategy to ensure that the positive results achieved by the Detachment are communicated effectively to the public, including thefts, vandalism and other areas of interest and impact to the public. 

“I see first-hand the good work that is being done by these police officers,” McGunigal said. “We do need to make the public aware of the good work that we’re doing and the results that we’re achieving.”




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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations on your new position Mr McGunigal. All of us from LaRonge know that is your home town and are proud of your accomplishments.

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