The federal government has four months to find someone to lead Canada’s national police force through even more tumultuous times.

In his retirement announcement earlier this week, outgoing Commissioner Bob Paulson highlighted a number of pressing internal — as opposed to operational — issues for his successor.

Still, retired senior deputy commissioner Bill Sweeney said stabilizing the organization was a very important part of Paulson’s tenure that began Nov. 2011.

“In the late 1990s right up to 2010, the RCMP seemed to be faced with a number of inquiries where the confidence of Canadians was being tested,” Sweeney told CBC News.

To be sure, under Paulson’s watch, there have been far fewer major controversies over how RCMP officers do their jobs, use force or handle sensitive intelligence.

“Since Paulson’s appointment, much of that has quieted — and one would have to give him credit for that,” Sweeney said. “There are still issues that need to be attended to, but we’re not facing any huge crises that we were in the last decade.”

Morale, though, is poor and eventually that takes a toll on frontline policing.

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