Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive June  9, 2008)

All the news that’s fit to spin

By Bob Cooper



As I watched the conclusion of the 40 minute chase involving a 10 Ton truck during rush hour on the Lougheed Highway the other morning, I knew I could set my watch by the predictable reaction from certain segments of the community.  Liberals hysterically screaming for a moratorium on police cars at least until independent testing can be done to determine their effect on car thieves.  As it turns out, I was disappointed.  Public comment on a major media website ran 99% in favor of the RCMP, the only criticisms being that the member should have accelerated prior to striking the suspect.

Scant hours later the usual predatory elements of the Metro Vancouver news media restored my faith baiting the Solicitor-General with loaded questions about excessive force in the Legislature corridor.  Not a word, mind you, about the horrendous risk this lunatic posed to the public.

As far as I’m concerned that was the neatest bit of driving I’ve seen in years.  What’s more, if I had been the NCO in charge I’d have authorized deadly force to end the chase as soon as he struck that parked police car.

Then I see that Vancouver City Council has thrown in a few bucks toward the purchase of the Bearcat, an armored vehicle for the Emergency Response Team.  The majority of the funding is coming from the Vancouver Police Foundation as opposed to public funds which is where it should have come from.  A TV news reporter goes out seeking public reaction.  They only ever show the reaction, never the reporter’s leading questions or the way they are put.  Some ditzy chick with oversized sunglasses doesn’t like it because like, Vancouver’s like way safe.  Then the B.C. Criminal Liberties Union weighs in with concerns about the ‘militarization’ of the police. 

All predictable stuff from all-too predictable sources.  The one that did surprise me was Province columnist Joey Thompson who frequently advocates for crime victims and normally has her head screwed on right.  She questions the $350,000.00 price tag and points out that the vehicle has been used less than a dozen times a year by each of 3 California cities she contacted.  Like the Emergency Response Team itself, the vehicle’s purpose is to save lives.  It is specifically designed for situations like hostage rescue or protecting ERT members who have to cover open ground in order to deal with a sniper.  If it saves one life it’s paid for itself.

The point that she and the rest of the media totally missed is our own good Mayor Sam Sullivan appearing at the press conference pretending to be a supporter of the department and hogging the limelight as if he bought the Bearcat out of his own pocket.

As a friend of mine who’s still on the job remarked to me the other day, “Sullivan would take credit for the Graham McMynn case if we let him”.  In the run-up to the city elections both he and his opponent, Councillor Peter Ladner will trumpet the fact that the NPA council recently authorized the hiring of 196 new police officers.  What they’re hoping people will forget is that they had a chance to do this a year ago when their own independent study recommended 165 new hires and they authorized only 17.  Not close enough to the election to capitalize on.  They’re a pair of phonies but most of the local news media lazily swallow whatever they’re fed and never seem to hold them accountable.



Here’s hoping that Vancouver voters will.



Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2008