Head of the Mounties to step down

Fri Feb 4, 2011 3:25pm EST
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, whose management style had generated controversy in the national police force, will leave the post this summer, the government said.

William Elliott was the first civilian to head the police force, which has seen its public support damaged in recent years by a series of incidents, including the death of a Polish immigrant who was repeatedly shot by Mounties with a stun gun.

Elliott, a former national security adviser, was appointed to head the RCMP in 2007 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in the wake of an investigation that described the force's internal culture as "horribly broken."

But Elliott found himself in conflict with some of the top officers in the RCMP, some of whom accused him last year of having an abusive management style.

The prime minister's office said it will begin the search for new commissioner immediately, and Elliott will remain in the job "pending his next assignment."

(Reporting Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)