The Surrey RCMP celebrating International Women’s Day today by recognizing a “major” accomplishment on the force.
This year’s campaign for women’s day (March 8) is “Be Bold for Change,” something the Surrey Mounties say Beth McAndie exemplifies in her new role as the Surrey RCMP’s Staff-Sgt. Major – the first female to occupy the position at the detachment.
McAndie clearly recalls the pull to be a Mountie, when she saw the polished boots, police uniform, confidence nd kindness of Rosemary, a family friend and the only female police officer at the time in Dawson Creek.
Sixteen years later, McAndie got the chance to wear her own pair of high brown boots and red serge for her graduation ceremony from Depot in Regina.
Her take-away from her 19-plus years on the force is to grow from each opportunity.
“Nobody will do it for you,” she was told by one of her first bosses and mentors in the RCMP.
Those words helped her navigate through a range of operational policing duties, from general duty, to major crime units investigating sexual offences and historic unsolved homicides, to participating in undercover projects.
Last May, she took on the role of Staff-Sgt. Major for Surrey RCMP. The role has evolved from its traditional roots, which focused on drill, dress and deportment.
Today, Staff-Sgt. Majors are tasked with being stewards of the profession of policing, acting as mentors, advisors and communicators in the RCMP chain of command.
“I’m the third of four sisters in my family, so fairness is really important to me,” said McAndie. “I see my role as engaging with and supporting our police officers, championing for change and bringing the voices of our front line people forward to our officer in charge and senior leadership team.”
Beyond her professional accomplishments, she is proud of what she describes as the biggest challenge and reward of her life, her nine-year-old daughter and three-year-old son.
“I want to be a good role model for my kids and teach them that the only thing that will hold them back is their inability to see themselves being successful,” she said. “My parents moved to Canada to ensure their kids would have every opportunity they never had. As a first-generation Canadian, it is my responsibility to make the best of every opportunity I am given, no matter how great or small.”
A proud moment for McAndie was a recent trip to Regina for the National RCMP Memorial, accompanied by her daughter. As for her son, he thinks the uniform is cool, but still insists he wants to be a firefighter… for now.