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Happy RCMP Members = A Happy Public

Dec 01

I write this as a response to Dr. Webster’s “RCMP Employee Relations:A Model for Disaster”.  As a retired supervisor my point is, that if the members are not well cared for then they can’t care well for the public.

I will exclude names in this example that I wish to provide and note that I was personally involved.  Not so long ago there was a shooting (death). Several members attended a residence where an individual was creating havoc.

The call turned very negative and what was believed to be a gun was pointed in a members face.  To make a long story short shots were fired and the subject was killed. I became involved from the onset and could not believe how, within a short period of time, several critical mistakes were made in the investigative process.  Most importantly these mistakes were made at yes you guessed it, the members expense.

Any astute investigator knows all he needs from an investigative point of view is a brief overview of what has transpired by the people involved.

Why?  The simple word for a simple person such as myself is “shock”. Yes the member (s) are all obviously in some state of shock. So give them at least 24 hours to come down from the adreniline that is pumping through the body and then get a detailed statement from the people involved.

But, sadly, NO. There was a masquerade of so called plainclothes investigators at the scene taking statements from these poor members who did not even comprehend what had just taken place.

I disagree with those who would say this must be done right away because the public has a right to know.  The information provided to the public from these interviews is highly unreliable. However, my opinion was not appreciated.

I don’t want to focus on me. Lets focus on the members who were present who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

So they are literally taken to the police office for questioning/statements.  Their rights are being tossed around but at no time is anyone saying, ” wait lets slow things down and look after the well being of our members”.

Not a chance, its more like ok off with the clothes, the guns, the belts and the gear. That’s right they are all lined up and told this needs to be done. So these members are basically stripped of their rights. And during this gong show no one is thinking that they may need help, that they may be suffering.  After all they are trained and should know that doing this job could eventually lead to having to kill someone.  Although not in quotation marks, those words were actually said.

Now I can go on and on at how this entire investigation was such a mockery. But you got the point. As time went on I saw the individuals involved experience so many emotional responses to that night, it made me sick. But management did nothing. So they were challenged. And of course that was a mistake. No one should challenge the you know who….

So many months went by. I noticed the decline in these members’ ability to do their job. And finally a review took place. Guess by whom?  That’s right, a “white shirt” with an investment.

Promises were made that the members would be informed every step of the way.  I previously neglected to mention that all members involved were advised, early on, that they could face criminal charges but were never informed of any investigational progress. (Nice……… could you imagine how these guys/girls felt?)

But I digress.  Once upper management realized the damage this had caused it was too late. So they delivered a few very eloquent words in the belief that all would be well again.  The above mentioned review was never provided to the members involved, even though they repeatedly requested it.

The members involved were promised to their faces that this would all be rectified.   But in the end all promises were not kept. Are you suprised? Oh did I mention our infamous Div. Reps. or whatever they want to be called these days were also involved and also failed the members?

In the end, these members’ lives in general were damaged from the stress that came from the lack of care and concern showed them by their own employer.  There is so much more to this story but suffice to say “F”, “F”, “F” IS THE GRADE THE RCMP GET ON THIS ONE.  How can we be expected to care for others when the RCMP doesn’t care for us?

Are you getting the picture?

John Smith

  1. Java permalink

    I totally agree with you John. I am a member as well and that is my #1 complaint after serving for almost 17 years now. The force does not CARE for it’s employees. It’s obvious you are a good leader since you know that happy members are productive members. But does anyone else in a supervisory position within the RCMP know this??? Most businesses that rely on selling their product in order to be successful train their employees to be good leaders because they know that their livlihood and existence depends on the quality of their product. If the quality is not up to par the consumer will go elsewhere in a New York minute. The quality of the product depends on how well run the process is…aka LEADERSHIP. However, unfortunately in our “business” (the RCMP) there is no other supplier to turn to so people must put up with what they are given and accept it. The RCMP isn’t forced to change. The RCMP is so archaic in this way. They have ALL the control and that is the problem. They do not look for outside help because they think they know everything, not to mention it would bruise their big egos if they had to “ask for directions”!

    John, when you mention the RIGHTS of the members being ignored it makes me shudder. As members, we are reminded again and again not to breach the rights of the criminal…but when it comes to the members no one seems to acknowledge that we have rights too. This makes me so angry because the RCMP treats us like they OWN us. I do have a life outside of the RCMP. When I “signed the dotted line” back in 1996 I did not agree to sell my soul to the devil too. But this is what it feels like to me.
    I currently have a complaint in front of the Canadian Human Rights Commision (CHRC) and my grounds are that my employer failed to accomodate my disability (PTSD). Long story short, while I was suffering from severe PTSD the force placed me back in active duty and did not give me time to get treated and heal. The CHRC has agreed to take on my complaint and investigate it. I can tell by the responses back and forth between the RCMP and the CHRC that the RCMP know nothing about human rights. I was actually shocked to realize how little they know. And after all these years, here I was protecting everyone elses rights…but where were mine? Who was protecting me???

    So I understand where you are coming from…I have seen that sort of treatment over and over again. The force takes good care of it’s cars and equipment with regular calibrations, oil changes and weekly inventory…but they do not take care of the people who use the equipment. I guess that’s because we are made of stainless? We don’t require maintenance or care? Hmmm…

  2. JOHN SMITH permalink

    Java, thanks for the comments and for your honesty. The RCMP prefers to turn a blind eye to its own issues and problems. After all they will go away will they not? If they do not go away then they will make them go away similar to your case and so many others. There is no happy medium no common sense no appropriate approach to these issues. It is much better for the many supervisors to hop on the bandwagon and make fun of the person suffering than to deal with the issue appropriately.

    Sad, as I have said before. I was a supervisor that stood up for my people I believe that they deserved that from me. That was my job. Unfortunately my battles were with management. They hated me. And when I say (hate) they did. I still am in contact with many of my friends. They have told me that to this day management is still punishing them for having been supervised by me. Just recently a member I supervised was chastized and told he/she was too much like me. This is over a year after I have retired but the comments were made by the same white shirt. Go figure. I have told all of my colleagues and friends to tape/record all conversations with supervisors. At least it provides an audible report of what abuse they have just encountered.

    Incidentally the majority of the members under my command have been hit with either verbal attacks with my name appearing in their conversation or just been refused promotion or movement. That is the new RCMP way.

    Take care of yourself Java. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    John SMITH.

  3. anonymous permalink

    I’m very sad to learn that there seems to be such maltreatment going on within this once-glorious organization. This organization is made up of people, people that have feelings. We all need to care more.

    The title for this topic is largely true, that Happy RCMP Members = A Happy Public.


    The costs for everyone are just too high for things to remain as they are.

    Everyone will be better protected, both members and the public, if things are to improve. Public support for RCMP would increase, etc. I hope this will happen. All people who properly understand the issues will want this to happen.

    As regards to my statement that those who are treated well, tend to do better, well this also applies elsewhere.

    We know that a police person’s job is very difficult and sometimes dangerous, so it only makes perfect sense that we all need to have great respect for those who are police members.

    What also occurred to me is that if police members receive maltreatment, then are others that interact with police at risk of such treatment as well? This is very concerning as well. All people need to be treated with dignity and respect. I think it’s known as “unconditional positive regard”.

    If we give unconditional positive regard to everyone, then many things are most likely to improve.

    I know that if we also apply unconditional positive regard to those convicted of crimes, they too will benefit and over time many of them will make improvements in key areas of life, functioning, which is a goal within rehabilitation. Yes it’s true that not every person who does crime will change, but many can and some certainly even want to. Compassion will tend to breed compassion. We need to care to make the effort that this takes. This will also translate into better interactions of police with inmates. It’s win-win for all.

    In conclusion, we NEED to care for the police members, who will care for the public, and we need to care for all others as well, that improvements happen all round.




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