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Disillusioned: In a Nutshell

Nov 16

I originally spent close to two hours detailing my story in an article here. To me it was unique and I felt a need to tell everyone about it. Maybe because I had some unrealistic expectation that somebody out there would find it appalling, in the same way I do. After writing it, and then proof reading it, I lost the will to put it out there. It’s a story I have told over and over to people both within the organization and plenty of people outside of it. I’m actually so tired of talking about it, telling the story. The people within the organization all just seem to shrug their shoulders and say more or less “Shitty for you”. Including people in the chain of command who I thought would/should be the ones that would be shocked by what happened and would feel compelled to make things right.

It’s beyond dis-heartening to me to learn at the is point in my career that the machine is so big, and so corrupted, that no matter how loud you yell, or to whom you direct it at, if it’s not something anyone wants to know or admit exists, you are wasting your breath. It really is “Shitty for you” in the RCMP. Unless you are brave enough to take your story to the media and expose people who need exposing, the powers that be are more than happy to keep the ugliest of events under the filthy blanket that is the inner workings of the RCMP. Even if you are willing to risk it all by telling your story publicly, there is no guarantee those in high places will ever be held accountable.

My story in a quick nutshell:

I am a male senior NCO with an impeccable service record (prior to the hereto come events). My career was on “track”. I had been supported for OCPD by my line officer and I existed in the ignorant bliss that those fortunate enough to never swim against the current enjoy. While in the position of Ops NCO in a medium size detachment in the interior of B.C. two female members of a specialized section complained to me about blatant harassment they had been subjected to by their male Sgt. A man who was well known in the greater detachment for his sexist opinions on female members. Like a good little sheep I followed the chain of command and reported the transgressions to the NCO i/c. I was assured action would be taken, but nothing was done for several months. Both of the female members were superior police persons. I had supervised one myself for several years in a previous unit and recognized her as one of the best investigators I had ever known.

Close to five months passed with nothing being done. In the meantime, the harassment of these two women continued, and even ramped up. One of the members was ready to quit, or go on stress leave. I appealed repeatedly to the NCO i/c and then to Senior Management. I was again placated with the suggestion that something was being done. Several more months passed. Now at my wits end, I contacted the E Divison Internals unit looking for ideas on how to do something given my limited power in the situation. This was the beginning of my demise. Or that of my career in any event.

As you must understand if you make such a phone call, people in Division are compelled to take action. Or at least “CYA” themselves in the situation. So calls are made to the OIC about the harassment situation in his detachment. An OIC who has tried very hard to avoid any such controversies due to his own political aspirations as well as some recent transgression of his own that got media attention locally. So I felt I was doing my job, what I am actually directed to do in policy. Report harassment and take all steps I can to intervene.

The RCMP “fixed” the situation temporarily like they always do. They moved the victims of the harassment out of the unit. There were no sanctions to the perpetrator. You see because the victims didn’t make formal complaints, in the eyes of the RCMP there is no harassment if it’s not on a piece of paper. I don’t have to explain in this forum why the members were afraid to make complaints themselves.

As for me. Knowing I had supported the female members did not go over so well with the perpetrator. So we eventually had words. I told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him as a member, and a human being. The next day I was removed from my position by the OIC who had no doubt been waiting for this opportunity. He claimed he “no longer had faith in me to carry out my duties”. This despite my superior assessments while in the job. He did that…because he could. He ordered a code against me for using foul language when I told off the harasser. This he also did because he could, despite the fact that it in no way meets the test as stated in the RCMP act. (It was unsubstantiated of course) He also transferred me internally to a job far blow my qualifications as a further punitive measure. He did this…because he could.

The following 16 months saw me essentially “blackballed” in the detachment. I will spare you the details of all that was done to me. The usual. If you’ve been there you know. Even if you haven’t I’m sure you’ve heard the stories. “Shitty for that guy!”. Oh, as a side note, the male Sgt. who harassed the female members became a DSR rep. He now looks out for the best interests of all female members in the District, as a S/Sgt! No sanctions whatsoever. After all no paper, no harassment.

I was eventually forced to make a harassment complaint against the entire Senior Management team. I laid out twelve separate points, all clearly within the definition. Now that I’ve been through the process I can explain how it works. I make an allegation of harassment , the perpetrators get a copy of my allegation and then seemingly have months to respond. As you can guess the group of officers protested their innocence. After all, nothing was outside of the almighty RCMP policy? There is no “investigation”, which is ironic given that that’s what we do. A panel of experts (which contains officers) reviews both sides of the story and makes a recommendation to more Officers as to what they think should happen. That’s it.

Not that I expected any other outcome, but not so surprisingly, I was not harassed. Just like the 90 plus percent of other members who have complained in recent years, A true statistical anomaly. I guess I just imagined it all. In reality what CO would ever admit, in todays environment, that three Commissioned Officers harassed a male member who was trying to protect two female members that were in turn being harassed. Not anything I think they would want in the front page of the Province, or on a piece of paper that would arm anyone quite well for a lawsuit.

Here is the lesson I learned from all of this. If you do what’s right in the RCMP, you better make damn sure that it conforms with “Policy” and you better make sure it isn’t embarrassing to anyone in a white shirt. Do your job in a moral and ethical way, be principled, but only if you don’t step on the toes of any Officers.

I now trust very few above the rank of S/Sgt nor any blanket respect to anyone in white shirt. I have no faith in any level of Senior Management in this outfit to ever do the right thing, in any instance. It’s all about protecting empires and image. I remain in my punishment job, it’s been arranged that I will never go anywhere. I go in to work and try to teach the young members not only about the x’s and o’s of policing, but also about not giving in to the culture of fear we live in. My career was sabotaged. I retain my integrity, and the one message I try to get across to them more than any other is to do the right thing.

Disillusioned

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13 Comments
  1. I am so sad about what is/has happened to you. It appears to be happening in the UK too. If you are not connected to @Alanw47 who writes Retired and Angry Blog I would recommend him.

  2. Anonymous One permalink

    Disillusioned, I am sorry you went through this. I know how life altering it is, especially when you love what you do, which obviously at one time you did. I stopped believing in the RCMP as well for pretty much the same principle’s. You’d think that, in such a ‘fine’ organization that you’d be rewarded for “doing the right thing”, but this is the rabbit hole and we are Alice…where nothing is at it seems (or should be).

    Are you a member of the RCMP legal fund? If so, get an application to obtain funds. Your own lawyer can do a legal opinion. It does not have to be an RCMP appointed lawyer. Many lawyers will do a free consultation, so get a commitment from a good lawyer who will take on your case (I can recommend some good lawyers for you). Do not let the DSSR’s tell you anything differently. For years they have been lying about the access to our legal funds. They have been telling members that they cannot access for their particular case when that was all lies. I know because I have spoken to many who this happened to when they needed it. They were turned away. You can sue the RCMP with our legal funds! You can sue members of the RCMP with our legal funds (as long as they are not members of the legal fund at the time of the incident). But still, if you can prove that RCMP management was aware of the issue but mishandled it you can sue them even if you can’t sue specific members.

    I know how it feels to be disillusioned…that lead to bitterness and resentment…and anger. The only way some can deal is to sue. It is the only way to get the outcome you deserve. If not, you may always be angry and disillusioned, long after you leave that ‘fine’ entity. No matter what, you will always be just a number to them anyway. I wish you the best.

  3. Unfortunately many, many of us are amongst the disillusioned. I retired in 2013 as a road supervisor in the largest detachment east of the rockies…. Codiac, (Moncton, NB). The turning of a blind eye by management towards the best interests of the front line members is common place.
    It is also common place for management to seek only their best interests which is why the present day structure is sadly broken.
    Good members are dropping like flies with negative management experiences. It is well documented by mental health professionals these experiences lead to stress, depression, anxiety, PTSD and, yes, suicide.
    We, the front line, need proper, professional representation without influence of the executive.
    You don’t see the Chief of Defense seeking more power through the “Queens Rules and Regulations” of our Armed Forces. You certainly don’t see the Chief of Defense making gestures that those with work related mental afflictions are “nuts”
    I believe that a re-structuring of this organization to include an association will be the only way to have serious issues, like yours, mine, and many others, resolved.

    Terry McKee

  4. I hear you.

  5. I invite those who may believe they are alone to visit my “facebook” page. It is under “Terry McKee”, and I’m the only “Terry McKee” from Moncton. Have a look, read the reply’s. These are from regular, retired, and spouses of members…(there are also many friends from the public)

  6. No Longer Believe permalink

    I laid two separate harassment files in my career with the RCMP. First one was a negotiated settlement, after hammering them for a couple of years, the 2nd had founded 2 cases the others were not considered harassment, I still maintain they were, again this was negotiated after I threatened to blow the whistle … I did file a complaint with the federal government whistle blowers but it was rejected because of time lapse … 6 months is all you have to file after the complaint. Again they negotiated but the harasser probably got off free as a bird … he was reprimanded. Harassment at the RCMP is a nightmare for all who file the forms. Should be handled by a separate panel made up of professionals and non RCMP members. The RCMP is a toxic, backward, self serving institution for those within it, and the white shirts, are the worst, psychotic, greedy and arrogant. The commissioner is a minion of the Government and he too has lots of skeletons in his closet. I often wonder how he sleeps at night.

  7. Stuart Valair permalink

    This is the type of leadership we need in the RCMP.

    Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison, Australia

  8. Buck permalink

    Situations Never Addressed, Fucked Up!

  9. Guerilla Fighter permalink

    Your story is, sadly, disgusting but not surprising.

    I think it has both good news and bad news in it though.

    I intervened in the team wide sexual harassment of a female colleague when I had about three months in the field and (don’t hold your breath) lost my career that day. So, I guess the good news is you got to Senior NCO and at least enjoyed that for a while.

    The bad news is that if you had the balls to stand up for victims of sexual harassment and even exchange words with the harasser….that you never would have made it through OCDP anyways.

  10. Stuart Valair….OMG….Paulson could learn a lesson or two with that speech…How do we move forward and rid the RCMP of the exact types that Morrison says???

  11. EFAMIA permalink

    This is the reason why the RCMP is in the crisis it is presently in. Commissioner Paulson is a convicted harasser and may have to go under cross examination to explain his actions and past transgressions.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/rcmp-head-bob-paulson-could-be-required-to-testify-in-harassment-case-1.2840852

    http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/will-bob-paulson-testify-at-mountie-harassment-trial/

  12. Anonymous permalink

    Sorry to hear disillusioned, and i’m sure your tired of me and others saying ‘we’re sorry’ but it seems this organisation gets worse by the year. I’m willing to bet ‘years later’ down the road, if you ever discuss it with former members that were involved in this issue against you, they’ll say “OH, THAT NEVER HAPPENED, HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT AND I DON’T REMEMBER THIS EVENT” as an additional measure to keep you quiet about what goes on in the Farce, as this has happened to me. They count on their intimidation in this manner to quiet you down and when you have these types playing this game of ‘forgetfulness’ en masse, it really creates an environment that goes against you. They do it to shut you up, make you out to be a liar when in fact you are telling the truth. Harrassment and the coverups are so commonplace inside the force. RCMP policy and paperwork is shaped in such a way to allow the problem people to dodge complaints and get away with anything. It’s quite elaborate in such a way none of us win.

    Anonymous

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