Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Talkin’ Shop

Interesting to see that the Chiefs are meeting in Calgary at their annual knees-up and bun toss hosted this year by Jack Beaton. Even more interesting is the CBC story headlined on Prime Time Crime saying a significant topic of discussion will be how to stay out of trouble. ( Police chiefs meet to talk controversy)Considering the morass Calgary Chief Beaton has immersed himself in this last year or so, one hopes he attends all the seminars and pays special attention to the speakers. But, in the event he dosen't, allow me to provide some free advice.If a bunch of serving members file lawsuits against another, senior police officer alleging fraud and other criminal offences, take it seriously, investigate the matter thoroughly and in the interest of protecting the police department's public image, place the officer under the cloud of suspicion on suspension until the matter has been dealt with and the officer has either cleared his or her name or the matter has been proven.This simple piece of advice also extends to other allegations like racism practiced by senior officers to subordinate staff. Or, for example, if another senior officer points a gun at a subordinate officer, don't try and sweep the incident under a rug. I know this sounds basic, but Beaton's history in the top chair seems to have missed some of these more rudimentary points.Oh yeah, there's another simple way of keeping out of harm's way for a senior police manager - tell the truth....

Supreme injustice

In 2003 the governing Liberal Party of Canada foisted a supreme injustice upon this country with the Youth Criminal Justice Act or YCJA.  Many police officers in Canada think YCJA stands for You Can't Jail Adolescents, so weak was the legislation.  But count on the Supreme Court of Canada to take an already weak piece of legislation and make it weaker still.  And in the case of Regina vs D.B. 2008 25  they did not disappoint.Back when I was a young police officer we had the Juvenile Delinquents Act as our governing authority when dealing with the teenaged scumbags - oh sorry, poor little devils who weren't breast fed and or their mommies drank and their daddies deserted them and boo hoo hoo - who seem to think that the rule of law doesn't apply to them unless and until they get caught. Then they were happy to piss and moan about how hard done by they are and how it isn't their fault.Back then, we would complain about how the JDA was so lenient on juvies and how they couldn't give a fig because nothing would happen to them.  I remember a cop who used to mail a birthday card to 'frequent flyers' wishing them a Happy Birthday when they turned eighteen. Inside was a photo of a pair of handcuffs and a bullet.  The implication was obvious; now that you are an adult, I'm coming to get you. The JDA was replaced with another weak-kneed statute called the Young...

Unrevising History

A reader, a retired Calgary police officer, wrote to correct something I had said about outgoing Calgary Chief Jack Beaton. Somehow the word had gotten out in the flurry of news pieces about Beaton announcing his decision not to seek a contract extension, that he had been Calgary's longest serving Chief Constable. I got the information from a column written by the always entertaining Licia Corbella of the Calgary Sun. The information, wherever it came from initially, is inaccurate. Chief Brian Sawyer, who served from 1973 to 1984 and by all accounts was a good one, served much longer. He came from the Mounties in Victoria to take the top job. It was he who brought in such crime prevention initatives such as Crime Stoppers and Blockwatch. Sawyer retired from the police in 1984 and went on to become the provincial Ombudsman.But there are a few others who held the office longer than Beaton too. Chief Samual Patterson served for nine years from 1941 - 1950 and Chief Lawrence Partridge served from 1952 to 1964 and probably brought about the most change to the Service than any other before or since. And those are the modern day chiefs who served in the office longer than Beaton.Thomas English served from 1891 to 1909 as Chief Constable of the fledgling police service. But the longest serving Chief was David Ritchie who held the office from 1919 to 1941. Ritchie was a decorated war hero when he took the top...

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