Earlier this year, the Surrey RCMP proudly announced the promotion of Inspector Mandip “Manny” Mann (Senior Investigator of the Major Crime Section) to superintendent of Investigative Services Officer. Mann is the first person of South Asian descent to take on such an esteemed position within the RCMP in British Columbia. As the Investigative Services Officer for the Surrey RCMP, he will oversee all of Surrey Detachment’s investigative sections. These include: Serious Crime Unit, General Investigations Unit, Unsolved Homicide Unit, Vulnerable Persons Special Victims Unit, and Target Teams, the Investigation Enforcement Section. Mann has over 24 years of experience with the RCMP under his belt, including some career highlights that put into perspective exactly why Mann was the best candidate for this position.
In 2002, he received Commanding Officer’s Certificate of Appreciation for his role in solving an astounding 22 homicides in a 4 year period. In 2001, he obtained commanding officer commendation for his role in solving a homicide that occurred in 1974. The public can trust that their safety is in the most trustworthy hands as Manny Mann was the recipient of an RCMP Long Service Medal for completing 20 years of service with good conduct in 2011.
Not only is Mann dedicated to arresting criminals and stopping crime, he is also dedicated to protecting victims and preventing further harm. Mann played a significant role in the creation of Sophie’s Place Child Advocacy Centre, which provides specialized services to abused children in a child-friendly setting. Further, he played a major role in the expansion of the Domestic Violence Unit and addition of community based victim services within Surrey Detachment.
When you speak you Mann you can see the passion behind what he does. “I joined the RCMP to put bad guys in jail” he comments proudly. “I am honoured to take on this new role in Investigative Services. We have a dedicated team who are dedicated to solving crime and protecting our citizens, that I am proud to lead.”
What advice does Manny have for the public? What’s his take on the increase of South Asian gang/drug crime? Find out below with Desi Today’s exclusive interview with the RCMP’s newest Superintendent.
How does it feel to be the first South Asian RCMP Superintendent in BC?
I am very proud of my background and heritage. Surrey is a very diverse city and I am happy to be looked up to by others from the South Asian community. I try to get out and attend as many events and meet as many people from different backgrounds as I can. I take great pride in the work we do here every day and the many officers and staff from various backgrounds that all work together towards a common goal.
If you could go back first year as a police officer, what advice would you give yourself?
The RCMP is a very large organization with numerous career paths that are available. I have been fortunate to have many different roles within this organization. With almost 25 years of service here in the Lower Mainland, I have learned that it is important for any young police officer to stay open-minded and connected to their community.
What is something that surprised you about the Superintendent position?
There are challenges at every stage of policing and this position is no different. Thankfully, we have a lot of intelligent and resourceful people here that know this community. I believe I can add to this mix with my background and work experience to help bring solutions on issues or problems that our community may be experiencing.
What is your favorite and least favourite part about being Superintendent?
I really enjoyed my time as a front line police officer. Due to my current position, I do not have as many opportunities to be involved in this type of policing. I still try to make it a habit to talk to as many officers as I can who are doing this valuable work which is ultimately the core function of our operations.
As Superintendent, how do you plan to tackle Surrey’s gang violence issue?
The shootings that have occurred in Surrey and Delta this year have been a top priority for me and for our detachment. We have been working with our law enforcement partners and using a number of tactics including overt and covert enforcement initiatives and community engagement to gather intelligence and evidence on those we believe are involved in these targeted shootings. To date, multiple individuals have been arrested and charged with various drug trafficking, kidnapping, assault, breach, and firearms related charges as well as two individuals for Attempt Murder and Discharge Firearm offences. While I can’t divulge our current operations, I feel we are making significant headway. We continue to work with our Crown Counsel partners to obtain additional charges and get those involved in this conflict prosecuted, incarcerated, and off our streets. We’ve also met with community leaders to address the root problems of this conflict and held forums with the public to obtain their feedback and hear their concerns. We’ve created a tip line for this conflict, that is monitored 24/7 in multiple languages, which has resulted in over 150 tips being received. In addition, we’ve made appeals to family and friends of those involved in these shootings to advance our investigations as both the victims and intended victims have been largely uncooperative with police.
Why do you think so many Indo-Canadian youth become involved in gang violence/drug crimes?
This issue is not unique to Surrey or Indo Canadians. There have been conflicts in the streets of Vancouver, Abbotsford and Kelowna, just to name a few examples recently, and they have all involved other ethnic backgrounds. The lure of the criminal lifestyle is nothing new. At the root of this problem is drug use and drug trafficking. The traffickers are driven by greed and the desire to make money. We have 90,000 students in our City. This is important because these are the people that drug traffickers and the criminal element will try to exploit, most of whom do not have any criminal history/involvement. Youth are targeted because they are open to adventure and willing to try new and dangerous ways of living. The lure of making quick money – while not actually the reality – is alluring to young people. And once they get involved in this lifestyle, it becomes very difficult to get out. For years we have been partnered with the Surrey School District with our WRAP Program, which helps youth at risk of gang involvement make positive life choices. The Surrey RCMP also offers a number of intervention programs designed to redirect youth out of the criminal justice system and help them make healthier decisions. As a community we need to break the cycle of criminal behaviour, and the culture of idealizing and glamourizing the criminal lifestyle. This is especially prevalent among young people – they need to understand that a criminal life is dangerous and far from glamourous and they need to understand this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. As our community becomes more engaged, and we collectively change this behaviour we will see gains as we take the shine off the criminal lifestyle. And as our community no longer accepts this behavior, we will see positive change.
What 3 personality traits do you possess that you believe best prepare you to take on this position?
I believe that hard work, communication, and leadership are the best personality traits that a leader in this organization should strive towards acquiring.
Have you experienced any racial bias in this field and, if so, how did you handle it?There will always be those individuals who are determined to undermine the work of people from different ethnicities, religions, backgrounds, genders, etc. The challenge is to surround yourself with positive people and influences that can help you achieve your goals and be a healthy and contributing member of our community.
What advice would you give someone who one day hopes to take on your position?
By working hard, I have had an exciting and challenging career in the RCMP and have had an opportunity to make a difference – I challenge our citizens, especially our youth, to find THEIR opportunity to make a positive difference.
As Superintendent, could you tell us what changes we should expect to see in Surrey in the next 5-10 years?
Surrey is a growing at an exponential rate. Over the next few years we will be significantly enhancing our first responders’ police presence and reviewing our needs in a number of areas. This will allow us to spend more time engaged in proactive initiatives across the city. Residents can be assured that we are constantly evaluating policing priorities and reallocating resources to respond to the changing needs of the city.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or your position?
I am a proud Surrey-ite and have lived in this city for over 20 years raising my family here. I am committed and engaged in this community and looking forward to helping lead our officers and citizens toward a common goal of enhanced public safety and crime reduction.