RCMP Problems

What in hell is happening to our proud and historic national police force? Lately it seems to be hit by one scandal after another.

An article in the Vancouver Sun refers to 81 cases of misconduct in British Columbia alone being investigated by the RCMP’s internal affairs department.

The Globe & Mail also notes some specific cases.

Of course the biggest media coverage has been over the information given to U.S. agencies that resulted in Maher Arar being deported to Syria where he was tortured and imprisoned for nearly a year. The National Post reports that the RCMP investigator who told U.S. authorities that Maher Arar was suspected of al-Qaida links was promoted and “and continues to perform sensitive police work for the force”.

Then on October 29th, 2005 there was the case of the young man shot and killed by an RCMP officer in the Terrace BC jail, apparently after an altercation. Although an internal investigation has taken place and the RCMP has announced that the officer will not be charged, the family has yet to receive any answers to their questions.

RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli has not exactly covered the force with glory either. An October 10th, 2006 article in McLeans Magazine began:

 For a man who’s staked his identity to being the quintessential cop, Giuliano Zaccardelli sounds an awful lot like a politician. After solemnly apologizing last week for the Mounties’ role in the sorry case of Maher Arar, the RCMP commissioner demonstrated the kind of rhetorical double-jointedness that would strike envy in a scandal-ridden minister. “I accept the recommendations of the report without exception,” he told members of a Commons public safety committee, referring to a public inquiry led by Justice Dennis O’Connor. And then, having scarcely drawn another breath, he began quibbling with the conclusions he claimed to welcome.

It was a head-spinning performance, made poignant by the knowledge Zaccardelli was fighting for his professional life.

 

Possibly things are no better or worse within the RCMP than they were 20 years ago. Several sources have pointed out that the 81 misconduct cases in B.C. is very small compared to the 5000 officers working in the province. It may be that with today’s communications every detail comes under the spotlight where in years past they would never have been reported to the general public.

Regardless, the RCMP’s reputation has certainly been tarnished in recent years and unfortunately they seem to react to their problems by stonewalling any outside enquiries.

Not the way to build public trust.

Addendum: In the Vancouver Sun article (above) a spokesman for the RCMP’s internal affairs said that none of the officers in the 81 cases had been fired.

However the Force was not as generous with Cpl. Robert Read of the RCMP who was suspended with pay in 1999 when he went public with allegations that Canada’s mission in Hong Kong was selling phoney visas to the highest bidders.

Read had reported his evidence to his superiors, who Read said did nothing. Read was subsequently terminated from the Force for what was termed by an RCMP spokesman as “disgraceful behaviour”.

In 2003 the RCMP Adjudication Board stated that Read was justified in his actions and recommended that he be reinstated to his position. The RCMP refused to do this.

Which just goes to show that when you are part of a bureaucracy the most serious crime that you can commit is one that might embarrass your superiors.

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2 Responses to “RCMP Problems”

  1. C Grenier Says:

    This is barely the tip of the iceberg. Just remember that those 82 reported in BC are the ones that could not be hidden. There thousands more that go on unreported.

  2. thenonconformer Says:

    http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/rcmp-mounties/

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