Bill Fordy has interviewed some of the nastiest people on the continent.
"I've interviewed some of North America's most notorious criminals," he notes. "Robert Pickton, the Green River Killer and others."
He's also been involved in many pressure-cooker local investigations: the slaying of pregnant Surrey teacher Manjit Panghali in 2006, 10-year-old Heather Thomas's murder in Cloverdale in 2001, the beating death of Sikh temple caretaker Nirmal Singh Gill by skinheads in 1998, and the "tag-team" basement suite rapists case that terrorized Surrey women for several months in the mid-1990s.
Each led to convictions.
Fordy began his policing career in Surrey in 1989 as a general duty constable. Since then, he's enjoyed a stellar rise in his postings, with his most recent achievement being named Surrey RCMP's new boss.
Recognized as an expert in the field of police interrogation, he has lectured internationally on interviewing techniques and major case management.
Superintendent Fordy now plans to apply all that know-how to the day-to-day business of running the Surrey RCMP, Canada's largest detachment at 661 officers and more than 250 support staff.
"My belief is good interviewers are good listeners," Fordy says. "I'd like to think that by virtue of my having worked with excellent interviewers, police officers and leaders across the country - and listening to their needs - will help me to be a better leader, and that by effectively listening to the people that I work with as I endeavour to start this new job, by effectively listening to them I'll be in a better position to meet their needs."
Fordy, age 47, has two children, lives in Ocean Park and originally hails from Sudbury, Ontario. He's the first member of his family to be a police officer.
"I think Surrey's a fantastic place," he says. "I view it as a real honour and a privilege to be appointed the officer in charge of the largest detachment in the country."
He takes over from Fraser MacRae, who retired at the rank of assistant commissioner last week after running the Surrey RCMP for eight years.
Fordy praises MacRae as a "tremendous leader" and "honourable man" and says he wants to build on his foundations.
"I don't see us making any significant changes with respect to how we respond to calls for service," he says, looking to the weeks ahead. "I think the important thing for me is to better understand the people I'll be working alongside."
When Fordy's not working long days, he likes to work out. He's done the Ironman Canada triathlon in Penticton three times already. How'd he finish?
"I was tired," he says, laughing. "I like to stay physically active. I believe if you're physically fit you are better equipped to go about handling the stressors of your job."