Victoria’s patrol officers have a new senior manager leading them.
Insp. Penny Durrant, who has been with the Victoria Police Department for 21 years, was promoted on Dec. 16 to lead 100 patrol officers, as well as the department’s jail staff.
She succeeds Insp. Jamie Pearce, who moved over to manage human resources for the department.
As the third woman to rise to the rank of inspector at VicPD, Durrant said she hopes she can serve as a positive role model to other female officers, who make up almost 20 per cent of staff.
“I know that there are other women of rank currently, and there’s more coming up through the ranks,” she said when she was publicly introduced at police headquarters on Monday.
Ensuring the patrol division operates more efficiently, despite its heavy call load, will be among Durrant’s goals.
“It is a very high call load because of the other people coming in from other areas (of the region),” said the inspector, who has worked in the bike unit, youth outreach, with special victims, in operational support, human resources and as watch commander.
Durrant is an original Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock cycling team member, and has brought home gold medals for mountain biking, road racing and arm wrestling in the Police and Fire Games.
During Monday’s announcement, Insp. Keith Lindner was also introduced as the new officer in charge of the West Division in Esquimalt. His promotion was first reported by the News in December. Lindner took over from Darrell McLean, who retired from policing last October.
Lindner, who succeeded Darrell McLean who retired last October, is a 26-year police veteran who has worked in several policing specialities, including patrol, drug investigations, professional standards, the emergency response team and as watch commander.
Lindner was attached to the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit when it first formed in 2007. He has handled some of the highest profile murder cases on the Island, as well as investigations into police shootings and deaths that have happened in police custody.
“He has forgotten more about murders than most us of will ever know in this department,” said Victoria Deputy Police Chief John Ducker.
Most recently, Lindner was the lead investigator on the Michael Dunahee missing child file, which is now being turned over to another investigator, Ducker said.