SURREY, B.C. -- Surrey RCMP has a new top cop in charge of the local detachment.

Chief Superintendent Brian Edwards is taking over from Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald in the midst of a challenging and controversial transition from RCMP to a municipal force.

“It’s a feather in one’s forage cap to lead the biggest, most innovative detachment in the country,” said Edwards during a news conference Thursday.

McDonald is leaving his post after three years, and moving on to a new role with BC RCMP as the criminal operations officer in the RCMP unit that oversees federal investigations and organized crime.

“His appointment here as the officer in charge is not temporary,” McDonald told a room full of reporters, “And while the future of policing in Surrey is unknown, I know that Brian hopes to remain the officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP for many years to come.”

In a press release sent Wednesday, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum welcomed Edwards and said, “His extensive experience in strategic and business planning will be an asset as Surrey transitions from the RCMP to a municipal police department.”

The changing of the guard comes the day after McCallum’s deadline for the transition report to go to Brenda Butterworth-Carr.

“The report is not ready to go,” said Wally Oppal, the chair of the transition committee.

Oppal said that was never going to happen as they are “creating a police force from scratch,” and with the holidays around the corner it’s unlikely it will be done before the new year.

“I hope we get this part of the report done sometime in January,” he told CTV News in an interview.

But the transition committee still needs to meet with RCMP, Oppal went on, to sort out an IT system for police investigations that are ongoing and so reports can operate properly.

“We still have to sit down with them and get a proper protocol as to how this needs to be done,” he said. “I’m sure with the new officer in place that will be done.”

Edwards said in the news conference there is a divisional team working with the committee that is at the table discussing how they move forward.

“There’s a lot of pieces to work out moving forward into the future that are going to have to be decided collaboratively,” he said.

Edwards will be sworn as assistant commissioner on Jan. 6. He’s been with the RCMP in the Lower Mainland since 2003.