Prime Time Crime


(Prime Time Crime exclusive April 11, 2017)


Way More Than Money 

By Bob Cooper


Following the events of last week, Do the Right Thing, a friend and former colleague predicted that the efforts of North Vancouver Mounties and Sgt. Chris Backus would all be for naught unless members of the RCMP across the country banded together in solidarity and he doubted that would happen.  Well, guess what?  Thousands of Mounties sign union cards

My friend also predicted that Hillary Clinton would be President.  I’d say that Sgt. Chris Backus may have just become the RCMP’s equivalent of Lech Walesa.

I was glad to see members like Sgt. Scott Fefchak and Staff Sgt. Lisa Stuart point out that this is about way more than money.  It’s about being grossly understaffed and overworked, promises that things will improve that never come to pass, and more than anything else, the perception of a lack of support from RCMP management.   I loved Sgt. Fefchak’s line about repercussions for speaking to the press where he noted that the RCMP could ill-afford to send anyone home because detachments are already running so short.

These people all have skill sets that could be much more lucrative in the private sector but they stay because they love what they do.  They are loyal to the job and the RCMP which is precisely why they are speaking up.   All they are asking is to be provided with sufficient resources to do the job and Officers that represent their views to government and not the other way around.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed good sense when he said that RCMP management would respond ‘in a measured way’ which I took as a caution to them that this thing is bad enough so don’t make it any worse.

Goodale also did his best to defend the paltry pay increase pointing out that it would be retroactive in some cases back to 2015.  Sorry Minister, when you have sufficient funds to transport, feed, clothe, and house 25,000 Syrian refugees and establish a bottomless pit to pay off lawsuits over wrongs the government spend decades covering up or ignoring (Silence - bought and paid for) laudable as those things may be, you can do better than that.


I recall seeing a recruiting brochure from the California Highway Patrol in the early 70s that outlined the salary schedule which at that time was among the highest in the United States.  At the bottom was a note that read “Superior men deserve superior compensation”.


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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