column was published in the
April 7, 1999)
Police sergeant says system has gone soft
By Leo Knight
copy of a letter written to the Prime Minister, Premier Clark,
Mayor Owen and the Immigration Minister was given to me
written by a Vancouver police sergeant, a veteran of nearly 30
years in the war on crime.
is, in part, a reflection on what he has seen in his career. But
it is also an expression of the frustration he feels at the way
the system has abjectly failed the citizens of our country.
follows are the words, not of an academic or a politically
correct ivory tower resident, but of a street cop.
asked for, and received, his permission to share his thoughts
recently read an article in the Canadian Reader's Digest
magazine that really impacted upon me just how much our country
and my province have gone down hill. That this would reach print
in this middle-of-the-road magazine is a strong indicator as to
how low we have actually sunk.
story involved young heroin-addicted persons from across the
county, dying from overdoses or going through rehab in Port
Moody B.C., a minuscule municipality about 30 km from the
downtown drug-infested core of Vancouver.
article outlines heroin usage by teens in high schools,
devastated parents, deeply concerned teachers and police
officials trying to deal with the problems of Asian drug
traffickers in that tiny community.
have been with the police for 28 years and during that period of
time I have seen all sorts of changes to the City of Vancouver
and none have been for the better. I can recall almost to the
day when the first Uzi machine gun was found in Vancouver and it
was in the hands of an alleged refugee.
watched as the one-time drug trade controlled in the most part
by Caucasians, mostly of Canadian birth, is now being controlled
by the guests we welcomed into this country."
the '80s, when I worked the drug squad in Vancouver, heroin
traffickers were given five- to 10-year sentences and the street
level trafficker was deathly afraid of the police.
traffickers see fines of less than $500 or probation as a
standard and drug trafficking is so blatant that the police
can't keep up with the number of on-sight deals being made on
the streets let alone the phone trade and major importation
"I had 12 years on the job when Vancouver had its first drive-by shooting and since then we have gang murders in abundance. The deceased and the shooters are not, in the most part, of Canadian birth.
is extremely difficult to write a letter of this nature without
being politically incorrect. But the evidence is overwhelming
that some of the alleged refugees from Honduras, Vietnam, India,
China, El Salvador and other places of the world, including
Russia and Iran, have set upon this country like jackals.
have set up their own rules, their own methods of policing their
criminal activities, and their own war zones, the likes of which
the police of Canada have never seen before.
see a great shame on this country, and in particular the
government, in the manner in which we portray ourselves to be
complete fools by allowing this catastrophe to continue.
cost to the law-abiding citizens of Canada is tremendous to
support the legal system and the police as well as the convicted
refugee and his support group.
recycles. It keeps the 'system' alive and employed. And it takes
huge amounts of money to operate. Taxpayers' money. Actually, my
money! And I don't like the way it's being spent at all.
British Columbia we support those whose choice in life is to be
supply them welfare, which goes to their drug supplier, medical
programs and care, and free needles to inject their drug of
is even considering giving them warm indoor locations in which
to inject themselves to get high to escape the world
"they" made for themselves. This of course will
increase the drug trade as more users come into Vancouver to be
a part of yet another open-door, open-arm policy.
I don't want to pay to raise addicts or give them money for
their drugs, or pay the healthy and able-bodied welfare to flop
around coffee shops.
don't want shooting galleries erupting like boils in
neighbourhoods. I don't want to pay for a justice system out of
control or judges with spines of tapioca and sugar plum thoughts
of the purity of the law rather than common sense.
just doesn't seem to be any responsibility or accountability
taken on by these individuals for themselves, their actions or
decisions. Everyone can't be a victim; there has to be a
answer to most of these problems exists in the Narcotic Control
Act, Controlled Substance Act, Criminal Code and Immigration
utilized properly, without searching for excuses not to
incarcerate or deport, and all the other associated nonsense,
this country could probably slowly start to turn around.
prisons may have to be a reality until it does. This goes
against the grain of the B.C. and Canadian governments but look
what they have created with their ideologies.
can only say to you, and the good citizens of this country, that
I've been there to observe it. I've had 28 years of watching the
system make excuses for itself and excusing criminal activities
of people whose choice it is to use drugs and commit crimes.
Very few occasions have I seen it stand up for sound community
traditions and good old-fashioned common sense.
in the past, a trip to the woodshed was necessary to square away
a runaway attitude. I think that's what may have prevented quite
a few of these ne'er-do-wells from the path they chose. It did
it's something both governments need now to shock reality back
into their airy-fairy values."
letter is signed by Al Robson, a Vancouver Police Department
I suggest you read it again.