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A Retired Member: From the Heart

Oct 09

I ‘ll start by saying that I loved working for the R.C.M.P and over the years met some of the best people to be around and to work with. Too often when a negative or insulting piece goes to the media its the totality of the organization that gets the criticism as opposed to the one or few that were the cause of the incident. This is exactly what we are dealing with today. A few individuals in a large organization have tainted the company name and all have to suffer as a result. As a longtime police officer with the R.C.M.P I have had the opportunity to meet and deal with many upper management types.

I am not one of those who whines and cries about everyday minor issues such as missing meals etc.. I am however very confident in saying that the upper management of the R.C.M.P. for the most part is incompetent and incapable of dealing with its members let alone the general public it serves.

Make no mistake when I tell you that the majority of R.C.M.P. members will run into a bad incident while other people are running out. The same majority do an outstanding job with the tools they are given. Unfortunately the tools they are given are no longer the best available. Blame government, blame media, blame upper management, it does not matter I firmly believe there are too many flaws to be overlooked. We hopefully have all worked for excellent bosses who treated you equally with respect and were understanding to your needs. Thank god for those people as they are becoming few and far between in this large organization.

The problem starts at the top and works its way down. Recruitment standards have dropped so dramatically that it has affected the core of police officers working for the R.C.M.P. This police force has allowed far to many incompetents without careful and appropriate screening. The only thing for sure is that the R.C.M.P. feels it can fix things by using a very cheap brand of band aids that either fall apart very quickly or do not stick.

Upper management in the R.C.M.P. have created a fear in its membership resulting in its officers becoming totally afraid of speaking out. This fear is introduced by henchmen who do the managers dirty work for them with promises of promotion and good transfers. The officers are therefore silenced by this fear and find refuge in blogs, newspaper articles and whatever means they can utilize to communicate to the public that not all is well in a very sick organization.

I am not a disgruntled employee just a realist. I supervised the same men and women that are still saving the day for the average Canadian citizen who needs police help. These same men and women show up to work everyday facing adversity. Management does not want to catch criminals and make the communities safe anymore they want to isolate themselves from any criticsm by the general public by making examples of these officers. Meet the new Commissioner BOB PAULSON. He wants to make examples of the bad apples. The problem is there are too many bad apples. So what he has done effectively is layed it out to his senior managers who continue going down the food chain searching for examples to appease the general public. Naturally (remember the fear police officers have of speaking out) these same managers are looking to find examples in order to look good for Mr. Paulson.

Yet another band aid that does not stick. Mr. Paulson worked his way through the ranks how? Political appointments. You see Ottawa was in such turmoil that they were looking for an independent rank climber who had not been tainted by prior R.C.M.P. upper managers. Mr. Paulson is a smart individual that was up to the task. The fact remains that no one looked at his prior reputation. Why (remember the fear of transfer and basic exile) I am sure if you spoke to honest police officers who worked with Mr. Paulson you would get a bag of mixed reviews. One thing for certain some of his prior actions might shock the general public. Mr. Paulson speaks loud and clear about any form of harrassment in the force today and how examples are going to be made. Perhaps he should be interviewed about his past behaviour and see if it is exemplary.

I could tell you stories however I fear for my colleagues who are still active members and who would probably be singled out. Dr. Mike Webster is a prime example of an honest hard working person who the upper management of the R.C.M.P. have found a way to taint his impecabble reputation and forbiding him to continue to assist fellow officers. Dr. Webster is a very humble person but make no mistake he will not take this laying down. He has spoken out, he has told the truth and is now paying dearly for that. If anyone is focused it is Dr. Webster.

You see he is a citizen before he is a Dr. He has nothing but admiration for the members serving in the R.C.M.P. He has their best interest in mind. But if his office walls had ears I am sure this same story would be told over and over again. Upper management is full of incompetent puppets who follow the flavor of the day which is trying to convince the general public that they are worthy to police their communities.

There is only one re-structuring needed in the R.C.M.P. and that is finding the appropriate managers to deal with the members.   The managers must supervise with the same sense of dignity, respect and understanding once more prevelant in the RCMP. The rest of the pieces of the puzzle will subsequently fit in very nicely and the general public will have its faith in this great organization restored naturally.  Appropriate actions will speak louder than any words from Mr. Paulson or his assortment of puppets. A wise man once said you cannot mix politics with policing, it just does not work.

The R.C.M.P. managers have bullied their members long enough. The members are fighting back by whatever means they can to direct attention toward the top. The top is broken not the bottom. The minor bottom issues can be dealt with appropriately. There is absolutely zero accountability at the top. They do and say as they please. That is the problem as Dr. Webster so eloquently offered the general public and is paying the price for.

R.C.M.P. members must unite and be brave in this battle. It will not be easy but the winners will be rewarded with the one reason most of us did and do this job, we will be able  “to help the general public” without management interference. I urge you to confront managers and the “bad apples” and make them accountable.

Stop the bullying. Stand up and question these decisions. Enough is Enough. How many innocent hard working police officers will be silenced out of fear. Canadians should stand up and support the challengers such as Dr. Webster. I defy anyone to test his credentials vis a vis Mr. Robert (Bob) Paulson’s. I can tell you who the unanimous winner will be. Time for you to find out ! Taxpayers/citizens deserve the best. This organization can return to where it once was by simply challenging those who think they are above the law. We need to regain our pride and sense of community. That is what most of the R.C.M.P members desire.

Canadians at all levels need to challenge government and R.C.M.P officials need to be exposed for who and what they are. Demand Mr. Paulson’s resignation and bring in an honest working man who can make the right decisions for the best interest of the organization and the Canadian public.

Retired Member
(but still vulnerable)

  1. Anonymous permalink

    This retired member says it like it is. All is not as it seems with Mr. Paulson. There is a back story here that needs to be told. Interesting though that even a retired member feels he\she is not safe to tell all.

    Mountie in the know

  2. Anonymous permalink

    As a serving RCMP member, I fully concur with the above noted. In order for the RCMP to fix it’s problems, they need to cut the head off of the dragon and the body will follow. Start at the top, and the effects will be felt below. It can not be done any other way. Words are cheap, and actions that harm the organization further are reprehensible. Lead by example and your employee’s will look up to you. Lead by fear and your employee’s will sabotage you. History does repeat itself.

  3. Anonymous permalink

    Dear Mountie in the know.
    Thank you for your supportive words. But to be clear, if and when I do tell all it will be with the consent from my fellow workers who may feel the fallout. If you are in the know then for sure you know that they will be sought out one way or the other and suffer the consequences. And no there is no conspiracy theory only “fact”. Ask Dr. Webster. Fact is the R.C.M.P used Dr. Webster for an assortment of lectures and he was “focused” then. How ignorant are they to taint his name by suggesting he is no longer, or has lost, his focus.
    Yes you are right there is a story to tell about Mr. Paulson. And trust me when I tell you that it will be told.
    Thanks again mountie in the know.

  4. Willing to wait permalink

    Webster thinks he speaks the truth, but forgets there’s always another side to the coin. He is always critical, I have never heard him say anything supportive of the RCMP. In this case Paulson may have misbehaved as a younger policeman but people can change. We have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  5. Anonymous permalink

    Hey willing to wait,

    You are sadly mistaken with respect to Dr. Webster. He does speak the truth and does have members best interest in mind. You think he is negative. Holy crap where do you work Ottawa? Give me a break. Mike was a member in case you are unaware and has helped many members in difficult times. In addition, his heart has always been for the members. Paulson is no good for the force he cannot wait to make sacrificial lambs out of members to boost his ratings in Ottawa. You want to wait for what? The force to go down the toilet completely. Sorry my friend on occasion you have to admit you are wrong. Paulson is a social climber who could not care less about his membership.

  6. Anonymous permalink

    Well one thing remains, the rcmp was so well regarded that it was given the privilege to run itself with no or little supervision. Today we see utter failures that cannot be identified because of an apparent culture of fear in an organization that should be fearless. Some people are speaking the truth now about the rcmp, and some members are standing behind these individuals. Afraid. Well aren’t those members of the rcmp supposed to be the ones we, the population and likely now the ones defending the rcmp, supposed to be protected by this very institution?

  7. Len Nolan permalink

    Time will tell with Mr. Paulson. I am a retired member who hopes Paulson can improve the credibility of the Force. I don’t think the Force is broken. From my perspective the Force still carries on with exemplary service to all Canadians. The media and politicians have, and still do, criticize the Force with abandon whilst they do not have all the facts present. As far as upper management of the Force is concerned, most have worked very hard at their careers however have not worked that hard at catching the bad guy. My thought has always been when the commission rank has been looked at; don’t look at what service groups, university degrees or public relations successes the member has but what has he/she actually solved in their career? Get some of their investigative files and see what success/decisions were made.Interview them to see why the decisions were made and why the case was not solved. That will tell you more about that member than a list of courses/university degrees. That is what the member in the field wants; they want someone who can lead by example because they have been there and had success through common sense and hard work. It is relatively easy to write off a complaint with the proper wording, the high fliers know this and use this to their advantage.
    As far as Mike Webster is concerned, he is a decent, common sense guy who tells it like it is. The problem with him and the Force is that anyone who goes against the grain will be punished. That is one area where the Force definately needs improvement.

  8. John smith permalink

    Dear Len,
    In order for anyone to improve the credibility of the force they need to do a clean up of upper management who are tainted with the idea that its the member’s fault. No, its management’s fault for reasons far too many to mention at this stage. Management has let its members down for such a long time and has, as you said, “scared them” to the point that anyone who “dares” challenge them will pay dearly.
    There is no conspiracy theory here – this is fact. You know it, I know it, and all the hard working members of the outfit know it.
    I totally agree with your concept of what is a deserving supervisor/mentor/manager/leader. At the moment the force is in a whirlspin of poor decision making strictly “knee jerk” to apparently appease the general public, media and other members.
    Hardcore decisions need to be made on the compilation of errors that exist at present. You cannot ask anyone to make these decisions from past regimes. Mr. Paulson is way overrated. Look at what you have said about a member’s career and you will notice that Paulson has basically floated and used other people’s successes to raise his credibility. This is a guy that put some members lives at risk not too long ago by being neglectfull. I know this for a fact and have members other than me to prove it. They, however, are still active so unfortunately again fear will set in and silence is the best remedy.
    So that is the regime today my friend. Silence anyone who dares speak out like yourself or me.
    Thank you for agreeing that Mike is a decent person. Anyone that has had any dealing with Mike Webster knows that his heart is for the members and always has been. But, he is vocal about the truth, and the Force to my embarrassment attacks him and tries to discredit him.
    What the hell is that I ask? Thanks Len for having the courage to post your comments and make this website a viable source of truthfull information.
    With the most respect.

    Retired (but still vunerable)

    • Len Nolan permalink

      Thanks, John. I appreciate your kind comments. I also appreciate that you signed your name to your comments. I understand the rationale of serving members not wishing to leave their name and being anonymous with their comments, however, If we are to forsee any change for the better one must stand their ground. Stand for something or fall for everything; leave your name when you post. Len

  9. Java permalink

    I don’t think I need to leave my name when I post. I am one of thousands of members, period. Does it matter what my name is? It doesn’t change anything. The REAL issue here is that what the original poster (ret’d member) wrote is my sentiments exactly. Those are the words of experience and intelligence talking and I respect what he/she says and I totally agree with the posters breakdown of the issues that face the RCMP these days.

    Also, I too wanted to believe that Paulson was going to be good for the Force, so I waited to see what he was going to do. Then after seeing his public announcements, I sadly had to admit that although he agrees (admits) there are major issues to contend with, I do not feel he understands the problems in the way he needs to in order to appropriately fix them. It all sounded good at first, but the results to date are inadequate. He needs outside help from people who can objectively look at the organization and set it straight. But, we all know that isn’t going to happen because we also all know that the RCMP does NOT welcome outsiders in ‘their’ business…it’s all about CONTROL. So, I am sad to say that nothing changes if nothing changes. The end.

    p.s. Dr. Webster is totally correct when he dissects the organization and comments on the workings therein. He knows people and behaviors, that is his specialty. The force should listen to him.


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