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RCMP Internal Review of Moncton Murders

Jun 26

Another response from the Commissioner that doesn’t correspond with previous comments made to the media (CBC) when he said that the members had all the equipment they needed. Who is being superficial and incomplete ? Who is the monster here ? You decide. see below.


Internal Review of Moncton Murders

I want to inform you today that we’ve asked retired Assistant Commissioner Phonse MacNeil, the former CO of H Division, to lead a comprehensive internal review into the murders and attempted murders of our members in Moncton. The circumstances surrounding these offences require the immediate appointment of a competent internal authority with the supporting resources to do this review and analysis. All facets of this event need to be understood.

Ordinarily such examinations do take place in a variety of ways eventually but out of deference to the criminal investigation and the court proceedings we sometimes wait before an earnest review is completed. Clearly the death of our three members in the course of duty and the near deaths of many others demand that we seek to fully understand the facts, learn from them and if required, change our practices promptly. I am of the view that this can take place without interfering with the criminal justice path this accused will follow. Indeed, we must do this analysis and make any necessary changes long before the court process concludes. The safety and security of our members demand it.

There has already been some analysis done and distributed by people who – while perhaps asserting an interest in our members’ well-being, health and safety – are being somewhat careless in how they are doing it. Our review must establish an authoritative account built from reliable information to permit an objective, professional and useful analysis.

These early discussions concerning the deployment of hard body armour and carbines are a very superficial, easy and incomplete effort to look for explanations and orient blame for what has happened. Our best information at the time that I write this is that J Div was in the early days of deploying the C-8: Codiac had four members trained and had six patrol carbines, all of which were otherwise deployed in training and therefore unavailable; and that each car involved in responding to this matter had hard body armour in it. We need to source and confirm this information before making any judgements but let’s be clear, there is one person responsible for the murder and attempted murder of our colleagues.

That said, there are some reasonable and important questions to be asked. Chief among them is whether there is anything that ought to have been done differently which could have prevented these deaths? More practically: what must we now do – once armed with a complete understanding of what happened – to make sure this doesn’t happen again? The scope of this review will be wide ranging and include such areas as whether the accused’s actions could reasonably have been foreseen; our initial and longer term response; our training; our tactics; our support for our employees and families; and, our equipment. In short, all aspects of this terrible incident.

Phonse MacNeil is just the person to lead such a review. He is an operationally credible leader who will understand how to get the information, organize and conduct an objective analysis and provide some relevant and reasonable recommendations in short order, all while respecting and protecting the criminal justice proceedings. He will be provided with terms of reference which will orient his inquiries and analysis towards what happened, what went wrong, and how we can fix what needs to be fixed. As terrible as the outcome was here, there were incredible stories of bravery, cooperation, support and success in a massive national police mobilisation and we will want to fully understand and share the positive aspects of the overall response.

We – Canadians – need to understand and prevent our communities from producing more offenders like this, and if there are opportunities to get early warnings of this new form of radicalization from our communities we need to pursue them.

We – the RCMP – must objectively examine our response and preparation for this type of event. We will make whatever changes we must to our practices and policies to minimize the chances of this ever happening again.

Bob Paulson, Commissioner

Contrast what he says above with what he said to the CBC;

Paulson says RCMP have ‘access’ to proper tools

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has said what happened in Moncton is tragic, but not another Mayerthorpe.

He said the recommendations that came out of the Human Resources Skills Development Canada report in 2007 and inquiry in 2011 brought important changes.

“We’ve implemented them all, we have hard body armour, we have the weapons that we need. You know, we’ve revised all our policies. How do you guard against a monster like this?”

Paulson said his members have access to the tools they need.


  1. Bob permalink

    While I applaud the effort to conduct an internal review PRIOR to any external (e.g. coroners inquest) investigation and report, I am unsure why they chose a retired RCMP A/Comm. to conduct the internal review; though I do not know of the fellow personally. Perhaps a better choice would have been someone outside the RCMP from another police agency – someone not necessarily constrained by RCMP mindset(s)/thinking.

    In fact reach out to someone from Europe to bring a fresh pair of eyes to the matter. Just a thought.

    • The Old NCO permalink

      I agree that a retired A/Comm is not best suited to conduct the internal review. There is little to no confidence in the competence and integrity of the commissioned Officers of the RCMP, Commissioner Paulson being the worst of the worst. Their history of corrupt actions and covering up to protect management failings is just too overwhelming. I suggest that a suitable expert on combat Police operations from a recognized United States Police Department would best serve the purpose of conducting a review of Police operations that occurred on that day. Major US Police Departments have a much greater deal of experience with combat occurrences and I believe they are best suited to conduct a meaningful review. I challenge Commissioner Paulson to request a USA authority to conduct the review but am certain he would never allow same for fear of the criticism that would follow when he and other senior manager’s incompetence is revealed.

  2. Bob permalink

    It is interesting to note that the Commissioner is entirely dismissive in acknowledging the early discussion around the Moncton matter; utilizing words like “careless”, “very superficial, easy and incomplete effort to look for explanations and orient blame for what has happened.” What he could have said was something like this:

    Alternate message: As we mourn the death of our members in Moncton I acknowledge that many of you have hard questions around the implementation of the Hard Body Armour and Carbine program. While it is unclear at this early stage whether these would have mitigated a different outcome, it is clear we, as an organization, could have done more to introduce these programs more expeditiously. For that I apologize.

    The RCMP hardly ever appears to be ahead of the curve, taking a purely reactive stance when tragic incidents befall the organization. We see this with equipment, training, mental health and the list goes on. Ottawa needs a shake up, and some of those officers need to be let go and reprimanded. It seems as if no one in Ottawa seems to be thinking ahead – where are the Ottawa Use of Force employing new training for front-line first response members for dynamic, open environment armed individuals?

    ERT trains for this all the time – non-one thought that a uniformed/PDS member might actually encounter something like this? Could we not have extrapolated the ERT training for front-line members and implement it as part of a progressive, on-the-ball organization? Does anyone in Ottawa actually understand the dangers of day-to-day policing? Why are members still shooting at static paper targets? Can we not borrow some of the tactics from “active shooter” and translate them to the context of an armed subject in an fluid and open environment? Where are the enhanced tactical training tactics beyond “re-certification”?

    Of course the answer to these questions are a rhetorical. The RCMP fails miserably as a 21st Century police organization. We have had a succession of “Leaders” over the last decade that have not measured up to expectation nor needs of making this a progressive organization.

    I do not say this lightly – perhaps it is time to dismantle the organization and place it in a museum where it belongs – turn Contract policing over to the Provinces.

  3. Roku3 permalink

    I have yet to exhibit my frustration and disgust with the rcmp until now. Alphonse McNeil?????
    Is he the right man for the job??? He suddenly retired and that his spouse did not attend his retirement function because he was too close to his young communications assistant should have raised some alarms!!!!!! Do you think someone appointed to lead a lead Province by Paulson now caught with his hand in the cookie jar is independent? Give your head a shake the force does not care about members it will only protect certain managers and the upcoming incompetent. The organization will continue to erode based solely on their arrogance to ignore the basic human rights of their employees to be treated fairly

  4. DJ Motorcop permalink

    Now he says there was hard body armour in the patrol vehicles? the ONLY vehicle that had hard body armour in it was the Dog handlers vehicle…………….. The RCMP took over policing the City of Moncton and Dieppe in 1998 (they were already policing Riverview at the time). The RCMP was awarded the contract to form the regional police force because they claimed they would do it cheaper ….. they did and still do it cheaper. I was a Moncton Police officer from 1976 until 1998 and then a member of Codiac in Moncton as an RCMP member from 1998 until 2012. I watched the RCMP come in and demonstrate how they would save the community money, firstly they reduced the number of officers from 176 down to 127, hose numbers have increased back up to 141 over the past 16 years. I watched as they disbanded the 12 man Moncton Police Force ERT trained by the RCMP and went to using the Provincial team. I watched as they got rid of our stores of weapons and hard body armour from both the MPF and Dieppe PD and never replace it. Yes we in Moncton had military grade emergency flak jackets, helmets and rifles and semi auto shotguns it was all taken away along with the ERT equipment and never replaced. I watched as they disbanded our Horse Patrol and sold off our motorcycles in complete ignorance to the value they added to policing our community. I watched as they gutted patrol section to form specialized “units de jour” in an attempt to impress the citizens while reducing the number of marked police cars on the streets. Patrol section got smaller as traffic section, court section PCR Community Policing and street crime and GIS and drug sections were formed. Now they have members working a call back unit calling back clients regarding files. I watched the Moncton community go from having a top notch police service with a kick ass patrol section putting 20 members on the street in Moncton during peak times to watching the RCMP put 9 members on the street at peak times in total for all three communities combined. The Moncton Polcie Force had 136 officers to police 65,000 people. The RCMP polices the tri community of 11,000 people with 141. You do the math, you get what you pay for, and now they police a City still with that rural mindset that each patrol member investigates each call they take and soon we became swamped and over whelmed and ask the Crowns office how the quality of work and conviction rate dropped from stellar and superior down to barely acceptable under the RCMP. I had a 36 year career in Moncton and went from safe honourable conditions to unsafe oh my god will I make it to retire conditions. My first 22 years were as a unionised police officer with rights and clear fairly negotiated working conditions, mandates, goals and objectives. So sure, Paulson go ahead and “investigate yourself” I imagine everyone on earth who has fucked up wishes they could initiate and control the investigation into their actions.

    So here I sit sick and disgusted living with the aftermath of the murders of three young men whom with I spent years working with and knowing the shit storm of PTSD pain and sorrow that follows in the wake of these travesties, whilst Paulson ET Al sit ensconced in safety in the dream works factory in Ottawa spoon feeding the pablum and kool aid to the Gov’t and Paulson’s minions.

  5. EFamia permalink

    The latest change to the 2014-06-25 Internal Review email from Commissioner Paulson. It was updated on 2014-06-26 to his “Commissioner’s Corner” site on the Infoweb. Interesting that it wasn’t sent out in another email to the membership to notify them of the change;

    Clarification on June 25th email

    For the record, I would like to clarify one fact in my email of yesterday.

    In it, I indicated that “each car involved in responding to this matter had hard body armour in it.”

    In fact, I should have stated that at the time of the incident in the Codiac Detachment all patrol vehicles and traffic cars, except three, had one set of HBA. I should add that in Codiac, on the night in question there were 22 HBA sets assigned to various vehicles and three tactical troop members had been assigned their own.

    In addition, cognizant of the increased number of members involved in containing the suspect, 132 additional sets of HBA were flown-in to Moncton.

  6. Buck permalink

    The internal review (sanitization) will be written for Mr. Phonse from Ottawa and forwarded for his signature only. Don’t be too surprised if they come up pointing fingers at the members, human error or decision making. I won’t be buying anything Bobbo has a hand in or his PMO handlers.

    Independent, outside inquiry and oversight. Nothing less will do.


  7. The Old NCO permalink

    Has anyone ever seen a final report or internal review on the Mayerthorpe incident. I am curious if there were findings of shortcomings and recommendations made regarding the deaths of the members that day.

    • Bob permalink

      Hello Old NCO – I recall reading the internal report but believe it was never made public (Protected); the report was leaked to CBC and others. Here are a few select pieces from the internet pertinent to the Mayerthorpe Tragedy:

      RCMP March 2011


      The objective is to distribute more than 2,800 pieces of hard body armor before the end of March 2012.

      Alberta Fatality Inquiry – Recommendations


      “I conclude that this was a uniquely tragic event which could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented,” Pahl wrote. “I find there were no failings in the training, experience or abilities of the officers who lost their lives.”
      The report does discuss a set of potential recommendations.
      1. That there be a threat-assessment co-ordinator in RCMP detachments that gathers intelligence and keeps track of “individual and master threat assessment files.”
      2. That the RCMP establish national guidelines for securing crime scenes.
      3. That officers be appropriately armed and trained.
      4. Emergency response teams review their call-out procedures as they rely on newer technology to communicate.
      5. That a standardized risk assessment for operations be developed, but with care taken to prevent unnecessary bureaucratization.
      6. That an emergency medical team accompanies the emergency response team on operations.
      7. That a national policy be developed on unintentional firearm discharge.
      8. While Pahl did not specifically recommend body armour, he wrote that “(I) strongly endorse and encourage continuing research, development and deployment of effective body protection systems.”
      9. That justice departments consider whether or not information sharing between police, corrections and justice departments on threat assessments, akin to the sex-offender database, exists and, if not, if it could be created.

      Fatality Report


      RCMP Association Responds to HRSDC Report

      “…the synopsis of events described in the HRSDC report mirrors almost word for word the synopsis in the RCMP report. The only difference is that the RCMP report, prepared in December 2006, says the “incident began quietly on March 2, 2005,” while the HRSDC report cuts the word “quietly” and simply says the “incident began on March 2, 2005.”.
      “Because of the content of the report that has almost been torn out of the RCMP report, obviously we have doubts about the independence of it,” said Staff Sgt. Gaétan Delisle of the RCMP members association.


      Brown Task Force – Introduction

      As the deaths of these young officers and others before them illustrate, police work is inherently dangerous and the organization and construction of the police service itself can have an impact on the risk officers face in the performance of their duties. Equally, the RCMP is frequently called on to investigate politically charged circumstances which necessitate measures to ensure the integrity of the police service is beyond reproach without hint of politicization from the bureaucracy into which it has unwisely been integrated.

      Given the magnitude of these issues, it is clearly unwise to create an institution that is immune from internal or external transparency and accountability. To do so is to invite the promotion by management of what is perceived to be the “institutional interests” of the police service rather than the public interest or the welfare of the member officers. Unfortunately, this is precisely what has happened with the RCMP resulting in the circumstances that led to the creation of this Task Force.

      • The Old NCO permalink

        Thank you Bob for the noted information. I detect that the persons responsible for the HRSDC report were not qualified with sufficient expertise to conduct a review of the Mayerthorpe shootings. As indicated by S/Sgt. Gaetan Delisle they simply mirrored the findings of the RCMP review. During my service I was attached to a support unit to ERT and have attended many ERT operations and training sessions. I have a great deal of respect for the members assigned to ERT duties. The training and equipment provided to these specialized units far surpasses that of general duty front line Police Officers. The planning and approach methods employed when tasked to a potential volatile crime scene also surpass the training provided to front line Police Officers. Over the years the value of a well trained ERT unit has been recognized by some Divisions and they are being deployed in a greater number of incidents. For example, they are commonly used at high risk drug raids and criminal motorcycle gang facilities when carrying out search warrants.

        Although I was not there and may not know all the facts, I wonder to this day why ERT was not deployed to secure the perimeter of the farm property at the Mayerthorpe incident. A well trained ERT team could have provided a secure zone that prohibited anyone from either getting into or out of the said property. We all know now that the culprit was able to sneak his way back onto the property and positioned himself inside the barn. There appears to be sufficient information within the community and surely the local Detachment realized the potential danger that this man was capable of. From my estimation the members killed that day were sitting ducks as a result of little to poor deployment of resources.

        This latest incident in Moncton, begs me to ask is there not a ERT team in a municipal Detachment as large as this? Had a ERT team been called they would have used their training and know how when approaching this scene. They would have formed a plan of approach which would have included a safe muster point. They would have seek further intelligence and begin devising a plan for deployment. Although ERT training requires Officers to have a high degree of physical capabilities that many front line Police Officers can not attain it is still possible and should be mandatory for them to receive deployment tactics training.

        In no way do I criticize the members at either the Mayerthorpe or Moncton incidents. They acted with the equipment and training that was provided. What I do criticize is the commissioner and Administration of the RCMP for failures that have caused the deaths of members and may very well cause further deaths in the future. These failure include.

        The failure to provide proper equipment

        The failure to provide deployment tactics training to front line Police Officers for potential volatile incidents where weapons are suspected to be present.

        The failure to include real professionally trained rapid deployment experts when conducting reviews of incidents such as Mayerthorpe and Moncton. I believe they are using a retired A/Comm to conduct the review of the Moncton incident. What are his credentials with respect to rapid deployment incidents?

        The failure to recognize that the RCMP needs more full time ERT trained units and that they should be deployed on many of the calls now attended by front line general duty Police Officers. This one is a money issue, but it is also the cost of doing business and keeping our members safe.

  8. Anonymous permalink


  9. There has never been a dedicated ERT team for the Codiac Regional RCMP. And you are correct. Beyond popular misconception, the Moncton, Riverview, Dieppe communities makes up the largest regional municipality in New Brunswick. In fact, Moncton has been referred to as the “Hub” of the Maritimes. With a total population of approx. 140,000, (and more during working hours), it has been inconceivable the RCMP wouldn’t have it’s own ERT, needless to say a place for the front line members to park their personal vehicles. That’s right, Codiac members have to find their own parking in the downtown area and pay out of pocket if they are lucky enough to find a spot.

    • The Old NCO permalink

      Terry, the fact that a large Regional Municipally with the numbers you mentioned does not have a trained ERT Team in place is simply a failure of leadership by RCMP Management. This is a disgrace of the highest proportions and as we can see lives are at stake. The present leadership of the RCMP needs to be reviewed starting with the Puppet commissioner.

      • Thank you and I could not agree more with your reply. The ERT matter is just one of many shortcomings I have been lobbying. Below critical mass on shift (as low as 2 members and a Team Leader), An SUV dedicated to the Team Leaders to have “all the equipment necessary to handle any emergency” taken by the Watch Commanders for lunch and coffee breaks. Yes, the Oi/c was well aware this happen and he turned a blind eye. The only thing ever placed in the back was the spare it came with. I can go on and on my friend, which I plan to do with the media. We, and I say, we need to have a public inquiry to investigate the safety issues that recklessly fell on deaf ears and contributed to the perfect storm. It is one hell of a mess trying to play the political chess board to have this take place but I will continue to speak up for our active members, nationally, who cannot, the fallen, the injured and the public.

        Thanks again Old NCO…..


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