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If You Don’t, Who Will??

May 15

My brothers and sisters,
First, I hope you don’t object to the way I address you. It’s simply the way I feel about you, however if I offend I will cease and find some other way. I want to open this brief piece by letting you know I am aware of the effect Bill C-42 has had on the volume of your responses to your blog. I hope this brief piece does something to allay your fears and light the “fire in your belly”. Just yesterday I was present at a meeting, organized by the Mounted Police Professional Association, held at a medium sized Detachment on Vancouver Island. There were two meetings one in the am and one in the pm to accommodate shifts. Both were poorly attended; although I will say that those who did come, impressed me with their desire to look after themselves and their families. Even though not “union people” they had realized that a union is not a union, is not a union. etc., etc. Moreover, they seemed to understand that if they don’t show some autonomy and begin to look after themselves and their families, who will? The RCMP?

I wish I could have seen you all there in that fire hall. You ask why are your MPPAC Executive forced to meet you in a fire hall? Because your management is afraid of you in a group (e.g. MPPAC). They refuse to let your MPPAC meet you in the Detachment. They like it when you are stumbling around the Detachment, sleep deprived, “in shit”, and without time to talk to each other. At the morning presentation (I was unable to attend in the evening), I was given a couple of minutes after the MPPAC Executive had spoken, to address the “turn away” crowd. I am envisioning all of you sitting before me and listening to what I said to them. Here we go…..

“It is common knowledge that the RCMP is a dysfunctional organization. I’m not just blowing this information out my ass. Take the time to check out those far more knowledgeable than I (e.g. Prof. Linda Duxbury, Management Scholar and author of the Duxbury Report on the RCMP). The RCMP is in big trouble and not by any measure a “change ready” organization. The RCMP culture, since its’ inception, and more so today does not support change. It does not support workplace health or provide a competitive advantage for its’ membership.

The RCMP is a victim of a downward “success spiral”. That is, it has held on too long to the belief that what worked well in the past, works well today, and will continue to work well in the future. This is comparable to a football coach using the same game plan for every team he plays, because it once worked to defeat an opponent several years ago.

The RCMP is in need of “Transformational Change”. That doesn’t mean hiring 30 new members for security on Parliament Hill; or moving 30 members there from some other ERT-like Units who were already strapped. It doesn’t mean shifting personnel around, it doesn’t mean “robbing from Peter to pay Paul”, it doesn’t mean re-ordering priorities, and it certainly doesn’t mean sitting and “whining” to government about how difficult your job is. What it does mean is a change in Core Values, a change in Culture, a change in size, and a change in focus! We go to bed tonight, and when we wake up in the morning, the RCMP looks nothing like last night when we went to bed. For example, its’ size has been drastically reduced, it is focused on Federal Statutes, general duty policing has been put in the hands of municipal and provincial police agencies. And the “outfit” is on its’ way to restoring its’ former greatness and your health!!!

This type of change typically triggers “change resistance”; from individual members who are ill-informed and used to being spoon fed, and from the top where all the power is. Those at the top have the most to lose and often will engage in heightened political behaviour. Can you recall a past Commissioner mentioned as frequently in the news in tandem with his political masters, as “what’s his name”?

I’ll apologize ahead of time if what I am about to say hurts or angers someone. What world are you living in Cst. D. Doright? What makes you think you are so special? I guarantee you there is someone bigger, tougher, smarter, and more suited to your job than you are, standing right behind you waiting to “engage” with the Force. The Senior Management of the RCMP doesn’t give a “flying f–k” about you as a person…or your partner or children, if you have some. You could go down tomorrow and no one would miss you two days later. How many of the 30 some odd members who have committed suicide since 2005 or 2007 can you name for me??  How many killed on duty over the last 12 to 15 years can you name for me?  Get your head out of your ass and start looking after you and yours!!! If you don’t, who will?? Become a member of MPPAC and take responsibility for yourself and those who depend on you before you become worked to the bone and/or have more of your benefits taken from you. You are not as special as you think you are and if you don’t protect yourself (and family), who will??”

Sed Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodies? (Who Watches the Watchmen?)

Dr. Mike Webster
Reg’d Psych
#0655

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6 Comments
  1. saumik901029 permalink

    If you are reading this latest blog by Dr Mike, then consider yourself one of the few informed members or vets who really cares about what happens to the future of our younger members. We need to start acting together at the grassroots of this organization and let the “One Voice” in Ottawa here Our One Voice from the rank and file that enough is enough and it’s time for change! With the current set up of our organization answering to the PMO and Treasury Board, this lifelong “non-union” supporter sees no other way than to support the MPPAC for the time being to see where we can go with this. It certainly cannot get any worse than the status quo so what do you all have to lose?????
    Don’t let the fees scare you away because they are tax deductible and you will get a large portion back in your return. At the end of the day, it will cost you a case of Keith’s on the east coast or a case of Kokanee on the west coast each month!

    Reverse the One Voice!
    Saumik

  2. I was a member of a police union for the first 22 years of my 36 year career, I finished with 14 in the RCMP. I was treated better, had better working conditions, better equipment and clearly defined working conditions at all times during my first 22 years. We did not have the right to strike ( who needed that ?), what we had was the labour board and arbitration hearings to resolve grievances and it worked and it was more than fair it was equitable to all concerned parties. I was a proud member of the Moncton Police Protective Association CUPE, local 490, for 22 years. The original MPPAC union dues are tax deductible and well worth the cost when you are explained the benefits.

  3. thewolfinsheeps permalink

    The degree of apathy amongst the membership is very hard to understand. We ALL complain about the same issues, and have for as long as I’ve been in, and beyond I would guess. When it comes time to “take a stand” or try to organize however, this is what happens time and time again. We just run out of steam and/or we are too afraid to speak up. I think it’s more the latter. Members are still too scared that their careers will be damaged if they speak out about things that are wrong or need to change, so they do nothing. They put their heads down and repeat the old RCMP mantra “I’m lucky to have such a great job.” I don’t blame them to a degree, this fear is indoctrinated in us all from the first day at depot, but it’s time to wake up and stop being such sheep.

    News for you folks, while you’ve been muddling away, working yourselves to the bone on units and watches that are beyond under staffed, it has become not such a great job. Doing more with less to infinity it would seem. Working in systems and structures that are corrupt, antiquated, broken, and do not leave any but the chosen few with any sense of worth at the end of the day. So go have coffee and complain about how the civilian staff seems to have more say in the inner workings of your detachment than the NCO’s, or how you only get time and a half on a stat, or how your equipment is falling apart, or how you got passed over for a job in another sham of a selection process.Etc Etc.

    Here’s my question. Just how bad does it have to get before the membership does decide to wake up? How many more gigantic “red flags” need to be raised? It’s almost like the membership is waiting around for some miracle whereby the RCMP will magically be restored into a good place to work. It’s not coming folks. If we don’t affect that change and have some control over how it happens, we will just experience more of the same. WE know what’s wrong. We aren’t as stupid as they would like us to remain. Collectively I know there are thousands of great progressive idea’s out there that can really influence change. We do however need a means of getting these idea’s in motion.

    Like the Dr. says, this organization is doomed. I’m surprised more members can’t feel it coming and aren’t worried or doing anything to try stop the implosion of the RCMP. It’s collapsing from the top, like some ancient statue. The members are frantically cobbling together stones around the base of the statue to support it in hopes they can save this treasured artifact. Up top however, there is no mortar. The stones up there are weak and they are just being replaced by more weak stones. The mortar of truth, integrity, and accountability are long dried and blown to the winds. The top will eventually crumble and fall on all the workers trying to frantically prop it up from below.

    Steady as she goes though on the SS RCMP. Full steam ahead, and never you mind about all the water surging into the bulkheads, here’s your dixie cup, keep bailing.

    • well said indeed, being absorbed into the force at the 20 year mark of my policing career was a shock. never have so many been led by so few and they work in apathy either trying at all costs to get promoted or transferred or keeping their heads down and hoping no one notices them. My 20 years of City police experience prepared me for a lot but not for the mindless robotic tow the party line that pervades the force it’s members and even the wive’s club. Thank heavens my two week conversion at Depot did nothing to alter me sense of worth, self and the ability to think outside the Red Serge.

  4. Very well put together the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.
    When you let the bad get to the top you got it right it become’s top heavy & shaky to say the least.

    I went through that in She’d Jac when they let their police forces tip in the direction it shouldn’t have and when it was all over and done I was laying in my own blood & the assailant took off with the police cruiser according to an eye witness after he turned the emergency roof light on and then off.

    He sure knew how to operate the police cruiser and in 6 minutes it takes from crime scene #1 to crime scene #2 he met three police cruisers on a Tuesday morning after 1:30 am. You got it the whole police force was out on June 2, 1981 and we weren’t even in tourist season yet.

    Still no one did a thing, I guess it’s hard to say something when you look at how serious things can get when politics are involved…. as for me I would rather speak up because it’s always going to be the right thing to do and as for me, and there are others who have not sold out to corruption in police work, but I would imagine it must be getting harder and harder.

    I tell people who have a desire to become a police officer what I’ve been through and 99.9% of them change their minds right away.

    I tell them unless you are willing to go all the way then don’t take the oath of office you will only become a lye like the rest and if you go be prepared to be rejected as there’s a two-time system and some of those you can’t touch. So if you can live with it and go home happy be my guest.

    I feel I’ve helped many people, marriages, families and forces

    While others have tried it, changed and later in a mess killed themselves.
    I guess they didn’t read the Bible where it said; and Judas hung himself.

    He thought he was doing well when he betrayed innocent blood but his end was not good.
    In some people’s minds they are just crazy stories but they are just as crazy as gravity or air you only find out its true when it’s to late.

  5. The Old NCO permalink

    Look, Men and Women of todays RCMP. I lived through 36 years of the stuff this organization can dish out to it’s members and what Dr. Webster is saying is bang on. I was outspoken during my years and often paid too high of a price just because I wanted a fair, honest and safe work place. It was never achieved during my time. There were times when members would rally together mostly in select areas of the Country in attempt to have change but management would always combat with the one weapon they used over and over again. “Fear”

    If you can muster up the courage as a group for the long fight then management will cave because most of them are cowards. Few of the white shirts got to their cozy positions because of the work they did on the front lines. Most have never performed or were able to survive on the front lines. You see, members like you that have paid the price present fear to those that haven’t because they know that if your type was to infiltrate their ranks things would change and they would not be able to survive. We all know how they become Officers, but what is a mystery is how they ever got into the RCMP in the first place.

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