Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive July 11, 2011)

A slap in the face

By Bob Cooper




Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Now that Bad-Tempered Bill is approaching the end of his Long Goodbye from the RCMP, the mandarins in Ottawa have begun the search for a successor and it looks like they’ve learned nothing from the Elliott experience.  In this article in the Toronto Star, New RCMP boss needn't be a cop, the government has made a couple of things clear. 

Firstly, police experience is described as a “highly desirable” quality, ergo not essential.  It’s hard to know if they’re really that dense or they’re just floating a trial balloon.  Either way, it’s sure to do wonders for esprit de corps in the ranks.  In a previous column, Sorry, not qualified,  I wrote that Elliott’s dreadful behaviour aside, appointing anyone without police experience was just asking for trouble.

The best Chiefs I’ve ever known were the ones who put the welfare of the troops before their own and weren’t afraid to stand up for them when the chips were down.   If they were denied resources to the point they couldn’t carry out their mission they’d say so rather than break faith with the people they served. The other thing that’s clear is that this is the last thing the government is looking for.  They want a stooge who will preside over huge budget cuts to an organization that’s already stretched so thin it can barely function.  Any policeman with common sense would run in the other direction but they’ll find some bureaucrat hatchet-man to do their bidding.  They’ll spin him as a man who relishes the challenge of ‘doing more with less’, etc, etc, (gag).

I hope the average citizen realizes what this will mean.  You won’t see the effects right away because they’ll keep the front-line uniformed positions filled by taking from investigative sections and cutting back in support functions such as laboratory services and criminal records.  Major investigations will be abandoned, support sections will get further and further behind, and whatever lackey the government appoints will look you in the eye and tell you that service has not been affected, morale remains high, and everything’s just fine.  Make no mistake, the effects will begin showing on the front line when they run out of plainclothesmen to transfer there.  In the short term organized crime will find that we’re open for business.

The whole thing is a slap in the face to those members of the RCMP that have worked so hard to keep the Force going against impossible odds and they had better brace themselves because it’s about to get worse.  Law & Order government?  Don’t make me laugh.

Bob Cooper is a retired Vancouver policeman.  He walked a beat in Chinatown and later worked in the Asian Organized Crime Section and the Homicide Squad.



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