Deputy Commissioner Richard Bergman

This information is being provided to all Association Members

Dear Association Members,

The use of DNA information in investigations is now regarded as a fundamental tool for an investigator.  It’s introduction into the investigative process has been compared to the arrival of fingerprint evidence more than a century ago.  It is being used in a wide diversity of applications including prosecutions of single or multiple offences, elimination of suspects, and identification of deceased individuals.  Perhaps most noticeably it was used in the identification of victims of the September 11, 2001 attack on the New York City twin towers.

In Canada, law enforcement agencies had been placing a great deal of pressure on the Federal Government to permit the creation of a DNA databank.  In the face of this pressure, on December 10, 1998 the government passed the DNA Identification Act which allowed for the creation of the databank.  The bill (C-3) became an act on June 30, 2000.

The Force assumed responsibility for the operation of the databank which continues to this day.  Historically it was noted that “As of January 31, 2012, there were over 237,000 DNA profiles in the convicted offender index and more than 71,000 DNA profiles in the crime scene index. In addition, there have been 21,563 matches between crime scene DNA profiles and convicted offender DNA profiles and 2,741 “forensic matches” (crime scene to crime scene).”

One of the chief architects of the creation of this database was Deputy Commissioner Richard Bergman who, after he retired from the Force became the Chairperson of the National DNA Data Bank Advisory Committee.  Deputy Commissioner Bergman was an individual of whom all serving and former members can be extremely proud.  Sadly, he passed away on August 15, 2019.  The Association shares in the grief of Richard’s family and wishes all strength to them in the future.

Richard’s obituary follows,

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association

Deputy Commissioner Richard Bergman 

Published in the Victoria Times Colonist
 BERGMAN, Richard Allan Deputy Commissioner RCMP (Ret.) B.Sc., M.Sc. (U of SASK) June 22, 1940 Flin Flon, MB – August 15, 2019 Cobble Hill, BC. With great sadness we announce the passing of our father. Richard is survived by his wife Teresa of 55 years, son Richard John of Ottawa (Jody Delwo) and Lorie Teresa (Wade Sabados) of N. Vancouver. He was predeceased by his mother Evelyn and father Agnar Bergman. He will be missed by his grandchildren: Hana, Haden and Dane Sabados of N. Vancouver and Grace Bergman of Ottawa. He leaves behind his brother Donald (Nui) of Burnaby, BC and his nephews Cameron and Brent Bergman of Vancouver, BC. Richard grew up in Port Alberni, BC and attended Alberni District High School where he was an avid basketball player and pole vaulter. He graduated in 1958, attended UBC and played for the Thunderbirds varsity basketball team. He joined the RCMP in 1962, and was transferred to Thompson, MB. He and Teresa were married in 1964 in Edmonton, AB. In 1967 he joined the Forensic Toxicology section of the RCMP and attended the University of Saskatchewan where he graduated with a B.Sc. in 1972 followed by an M.Sc. in Biochemistry Magna Cum Laude in 1974. He was transferred to the Vancouver RCMP Crime Lab in 1974 where he worked as a toxicologist. In 1977 he was commissioned as an Officer and transferred to HQ Ottawa in 1978 where he served as OIC of Staffing and Personnel. In 1985 he was promoted to C/Supt. and thereafter to A/Comm. as Director of the Forensic Laboratories where he was involved with introducing DNA into the criminal forensic environment. In 1991 he was promoted to D/Comm. and Commander ‘D’ Division where he had served early in his career. In 1994 he returned to HQ Ottawa where he was the Director of National Police Services and then in 1996 became the D/Comm. Atlantic Region. It was after his retirement from 1998 to 2010 that Richard was most honoured to have served as the Chair of The National DNA Data Bank Advisory Committee to the Commissioner. It was during those years that the first legislation was drafted to usher in the new era of DNA as a critical forensic tool to serve Canadians for generations to come. He was dedicated to his family, church and community. As a father, he coached baseball and helped grow the Ottawa Lions track club of which he was made an Honourary Member in 1982. He spent many happy years with golf friends at Arbutus Ridge and cherished his time with his four grandchildren. It was his never-ending dedication and loyalty to his wife Teresa and her Alzheimer’s condition which most exemplified his deepest character as a man of immense virtue and selflessness. He was happiest when he was serving others. A remembrance service will be announced later. Please contact Richard J Bergman at