Editor: I am a Vancouver Island labour representative for RCMP members. Your local labour rep is Sgt Eddie MacDonald. We are non-union labour reps, but we are still labour reps.
The continual beating up of Cpl. Monty Robinson et al in print is tiring. Why, when anyone else in society is charged or accused it is alleged, but when it is a cop it is fact.
Your story (The Times, July 10) said: “He is also facing a trial for committing perjury in the inquiry into the Tasering death of Robert Dziekanski, where he was the senior officer.”
Robinson has a family as well. I know them. They hurt too. He hurts every day as well. All four of the members from YVR hurt. They were on duty, they went to a call, they gave statements immediately because they said to their labour rep “we have nothing to hide.” All the studies say wait to provide a statement (Force Science Institute — University of Minnesota).
It is my hope that someday all of the evidence from the YVR tragedy comes to light. Did you know the member who can prove there was no “meeting of the members” prior to giving statements after the YVR incident was never called by Judge Thomas Braidwood?
Did you know one of the members at YVR is charged with changing his story on the stand once seeing the video, while another is charged with refusing to change his story based on the same video? Funny thing is, neither of the members used the Taser or was the supervisor that day. There was nothing to lie about.
Did you know the member that did utilize the Taser followed his training? They were all taught by then Cpl. Gregg Gillis, a Use of Force expert. Did you know although the policy surrounding the Taser has changed (I worked on the new policy), given the same set of circumstances as at YVR, many members would still utilize the conductd energy weapon today?
As for the RCMP Act being the cause for the slow process to fire members, I think you mean the “fair process” utilized to fire. Members have rights. We protect those rights.
By the way, I have also personally signed nine members out of the RCMP in the past four years, it’s not impossible.
Some managers cause many of the slow downs. They don’t follow proper processes and all too often they leave outs for members who should probably move on.
They foot drag on investigations. They refuse legal fees and make us fight to get them back, when they could grant the fees and then recoup the money when the member does leave. There is policy for that.
Strike a board and commence the process to discharge a member. Then the member has rights. Inastead they suspend the member without pay, and then make the member sit with no job, waiting to see what will occur.
Did you know some people do want to leave the force, but once crucified in the news media, it becomes difficult for them to find jobs and feed their families.
The RCMP participating in this media massacre of the men and women of all police forces is sickening. Presently we seem to go out of our way to tell the media all about our dirty laundry. The pendulum has swung too far.
Did you know Sgt Don Ray was not discharged by the Commanding Officer of Alberta? Of course you did, evryone did. He was demoted. He was fined. He was transferred. None of this is Sgt. Ray’s fault. Never mind the fact we do not know all the mitigating factors in the case.
I’ve been a Mountie for over 30 years. Our members are overworked, paid less than many counterparts and losing benefits they signed up for. They work for free even when we tell them not to. They are burning out at an enornmous rate.
Some drink to forget, like many others in society. This is not the answer, but it is a fact. So is our divorce rate and stress- related injuries.
They make mistakes like everyone else when they are tired. But they all deserve a constitutional right to be treated as fairly as anyone else in society. They also all need to be treated like the professionals they are.
I continue to deal with managers at all levels that bully. Many don’t even know they are doing it. Bad leaders don’t know they are bad leaders. I also work with a great number of great managers and yes, even some leaders. They are leaders who continue to do the best they can with limited budgets — which means limited manpower, which means mistakes.
Now everyone is ecstatic that one man, the commissioner, will be able to fire people more easily. It sounds great, until you are that person. What is the definiton of bad apple? Dark hearted? Someone tell us. We are uncomfortable with the thought of giving any one person that kind of power.
I can give you more examples, and I won’t be popular inside my labour program or outside of the program. But I do not care. I represent front line members who risk their lives every day to protect all members of society, even the ones who refuse to cut them a break.
Staff Sgt. Scott Warren,
Vancouver Island Staff Relations
Editor’s note — Cpl. Monty Robinson remains suspended with pay, and has been convicted of obstruction of justice. The charge of perjury remains before the courts.