Friday, June 19, 2009

The On-Going Saga

When negative stuff keeps on happening in regard to an organization, or an activity, it might be time to have an in-depth review, at least. Some sort of cost-benefit analysis.

The government has done this before - like with the Paras - maybe it's time to take hard look at the RCMP. What benefit does it provide for all the deficits it has incurred in recent times?

It's a national police force, like the FBI. True. But it also has local and parochial aspects that the FBI doesn't have, in terms of direct responsibility for policing. The RCMP is also the 'provincial' police in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Theoretically that's supposed to be a good thing, but lately it's just opened the force up to more charges from further afield. If the Mounties in Manitoba have a problem, it's a national problem.

They've acted as Canada's 'security and intelligence' arm. True, and to some extent they still might. CSIS is populated with superannuated Mounties. This aspect of the work has been a 'labor of love', for most Mounties working their way up the ranks gain little experience or knowledge of intelligence work, unless it's from chasing drug gangs. CSIS stands a chance of being effective insofar as something can be made from 'new cloth'. It's highly unlikely that somebody raised in the 'Mounties' way' is going to stray far from the barn.

They are a Canadian 'icon'. True, but what does that have to do with policing? Duddley Doowright could be an icon. You can get an icon from casting central. A good cop is something else.

So are the benefits worth the expense? What expense you might ask? I'm talking about the expense incurred when the force fails to carry out its role(s). The costs incurred by long investigations and law suit settlements. The costs incurred by a series of amateurish bungles and cluster-f*cks caused by the boys, and girls, in red serge.

We're coming off the 6 month judicial inquiry into 3 minutes of RCMP behavior and, to-day, word that even that process has been buggered-up. Within a week of the inquiry starting, the result was etched on that Pole's gravestone, 'death by misadventure' - the police were just doing their jobs. It took millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of testimony. All paid by the same public that pays the guys who caused it. But that was all a sop, for the verdict was already in. Until to-day, when an email from one senior Mountie to another foolishly (honestly?) mentioned that tasering that Pole was the 'game plan' Mounties had decided before they laid eyes on him.

Never mind pointed staplers and failure to follow english orders and hand gestures, that guy was getting tasered if he said 'Boo!' That part took the first 7 seconds of the Mounties' 3 minutes, and that was what they boys has in mind. They didn't think they were going to kill him, but, hey, crap happens. That looks like somebody was lying (not being accurate of forthcoming) to the judicial inquiry, however.

Actually we won't know because this revelation isn't a Mountie problem, they gave the emails to the Federal lawyers. The federal team just 'forgot' to give them to anybody else, or mention them to the judge.

So today we have lawyers tears, explaining that it was no 'intention' to deceive. Just an 'honest error' like that other 'honesty', i.e. performing a duty to serve and protect, that cost somebody his life.

Maybe Federal lawyers need a look, too. Committee of Public Safety anyone?