Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive July  6, 2012)

In Olden Days a Glimpse of Stocking.....

By Bob Cooper


The old Cole Porter song “Anything Goes” bemoans the fallen moral standards of Western society in 1934 and we’ve come a long way since then but not all of that has been bad.  We’re much more enlightened and tolerant that we used to be.  For example, one November in the early 1980s the annual VPD Promotion List came out and my name wasn’t on it.  There were actually quite a few Novembers when that happened but we’ll just concentrate on this one.  My Inspector was fuming at this because on the List was the name of a member widely believed to be gay.  He didn’t necessarily believe I deserved promotion but as he put it, if they were going to promote a “known homosexual” they might as well promote me too.  Thank you, sir.

You’d never hear that conversation now and law enforcement agencies have plunged headlong into ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ to the point where common sense has been totally abandoned in some cases.  Last week our federal brothers were being criticized over the Mess being constructed in the new ‘E’ Division Headquarters building in Surrey.  The fact that it would easily be the cleanest liquor establishment in Surrey notwithstanding, detractors were crying ‘bad optics’.  As if to say ‘You want bad optics?   We’ll give you bad optics’, we now have the case of a Corporal in Coquitlam Detachment known in cyberspace as the Kilted Knight who was photographed clad in nothing but his Strathcona’s (RCMP Dress Boots), holding a woman by a choke-chain with a knife to her throat and obviously enjoying what he was doing.  If you know what I mean.  The Kilted Knight’s proclivities were discovered some time ago but the RCMP’s Legal Branch decided that since the activity itself was consensual and therefore not illegal and the member was not holding himself (Wait for it!) out to be a member of the RCMP nothing could be done about it and the matter was closed.

I’m told that Commissioner Paulson was somewhat displeased when this hit the front page yesterday (‘bat shit nuclear’ is how it was described to me) and it’s unclear whether he’s madder at the Kilted Knight or how the thing was handled.  Either way, I’ll wager that he’s longing for those halcyon days of Chilliwack Major Crime right now.

While I tend to be pretty right-wing, I take a ‘live & let live’ view on a lot of social issues.  You want to be gay?  Help yourself.  You want to be a lesbian?  More power to you.  Mixed marriage?  No one bats an eye anymore particularly in Vancouver but back to my point about common sense which tells me that being attracted to certain activities should disqualify you from belonging to a police force and just because the activity may not be illegal doesn’t make it acceptable and that shouldn’t necessarily be the yardstick.  Rather than the narrow, objective lens the RCMP Legal Branch use in these matters, the public uses a much broader, subjective one when judging us and that has to be a factor.

In over 30 years on the job you see a lot of weird things (especially in this city) but I found few as repulsive as the  Sado/Masochist – Bondage/Domination thing.  The whole point is obtaining sexual gratification from inflicting pain & suffering or submission or captivity on others and whether it’s real or consensual, it’s still plain creepy and there’s something twisted about those who practice it.  How do you think a female victim or witness or even a female member would feel being around The Kilted Knight?   It might have been one thing had he been very discreet but he put these photos up on an Internet site for the world to see.

I feel sorry for the RCMP and the individual members whose daily good work gets overshadowed by this and the fact that it’s allowed to go on because of a system that’s become so timid & legalistic that it condones behaviours that can’t help but shake the public’s trust which is the very thing the police require in order to be effective.

No doubt the Human Rights Tribunal will note my lack of tolerance and send me to the corner with a leather mask and a ball gag.  At least the heat’s off the Mess.



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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