Skip to content

This Must Be A Nightmare: Someone Wake Me!

Apr 21

G’day all! I hope you are well and enjoying the changing weather? Summer is on its’ way here in the Northern Hemisphere giving us longer days to pack with meaningful and rewarding activity. Please forgive me for making my usual greeting to you brief; I am anxious to address the “intellectual giant” that sits atop your organization.

So, “Bobby Boy”, it’s me again. (Just view what is about to follow as a promotional TV interview prior to our big match, and designed to get me some “heat”. Then when you make your big “comeback” in the ring, the entire nation will go wild as you take your pound of flesh from “Iron Mike” who, for all these many months, has belittled and disrespected such a revered public figure as yourself (Ok, Ok, I might have this “angle” backwards…..but stay with me for a bit).

It seems that in one of those “Gender Based” assessments, or action plans, of 2012 or 2013, you wrote what follows in your introduction in an attempt to “….reassure and demonstrate to Canadians that purposeful and deliberate systems have been deployed to change the inner workings – the guts of the organization as [you] like to call it – in order to foster the culture change we are all seeking.”

You then went on to caution that culture change is slow; “…..cultural change doesn’t happen overnight, over a year, or even five years. Culture change occurs over a generation.” (“Bobby”, who have you been consulting on this? Likely a Conservative government munge belonging to the Flat Earth Society? No?) You see my dear boy, transformational change is such, as it is in a sense overnight, spontaneous, something different than what the troops have been used to! I was puzzled by your misinformation as I am aware of other more transformative leaders, than yourself, who have instituted cultural change (of course in contexts nowhere near as “complex” as yours) with no mention of the variable of “time”; for example, Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas K. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, The Dalai Llama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham (yeah that’s right, the guy from the Bible), Homer Simpson (no shit!), Lee Iaccoca, and Vince Lombardi to name just a few.

And while we’re at it allow me to point out a couple of things that might explain why your “Culture change happens over a generation”. Giving yourself more power under the “Enhancing RCMP Accountability Act” is not likely going to speed any kind of change, let alone transformational, as it is somewhat akin to assuming a Putin-like dictatorship. And that whole “two disciplinary streams” thing, you know the “meeting” where you and the rest of the gang get together for snacks and to deal with less complex issues(?); and we, the public can eventually see the process after a lengthy access to information request? Then there’s that “conduct board” thingy, get together, or whatever, that “dinged” Calandrini for 15 days pay (ouch, you execs can really be nasty!!). Strangely, we the public you serve have no access to this one? I’m confused “Bobbo”; I find it curious that even though he was initially accused of nudity at work and other unacceptable behaviours, a second and more serious complaint was not considered misconduct egregious (look it up) enough for dismissal.

Let me ask this question of those who read this blog, and don’t work for the RCMP, could you wander about naked and grope co-workers at your place of work and not be fired, or worse?? (Now “Bobby-Boy”, keep in mind your statement about culture change taking a generation to occur). We have a problem here, your new act does not define “more serious” forms of misconduct. This is left to Senior RCMP Executives (the afore mentioned “gang” doing the snacking) to determine; and moreover, whether a case goes to a meeting (hearing?) or a “conduct board”. This might be one of the reasons why culture change under your command could take “a generation.”

“Bobbo-Baby” can you not see the conundrum (oh sorry, it means sort of like a “problem”)? Can you not see the conflict of interest (bias?) in the police investigating and judging themselves? I’m gonna’ go slow here but try to follow; in an athletic contest why do you suppose we don’t ask each athlete to weigh, measure, score, time, judge, etc. her/his own results; why don’t we have electoral candidates count their own ballots; or, why doesn’t the testee score her/his own test without some check mechanism? Yes, that’s it!! You have it!! Human subjectivity!! In the best of lights, it isn’t even cheating, but moreso the human tendency to preserve one’s ego or self image. And I assure you “Bad Boy Bobby” if the community comes to believe that its’ police aren’t playing by the rules, that belief can lead to an atmosphere of distrust and disrespect. The community will then be predisposed to push back, a la the black communities south of the border!!

Allow me to digress somewhat, do you remember Sir Robert Peel? If not, read one of the immediately preceding blogs to refresh yourself. I’ll suggest, that you attempting to retain any part of policing yourself, flies in the face of Peel and puts “professional loyalty” above your “sense of obligation” to the public.

Do you recall where above (I know, I know, it was a few paragraphs ago and you are beginning to get that “deer in the headlights” look) I was critical of Calandrini’s 15 days without pay? Well check this out…….it seems in South Carolina there was (recently) a “school resource officer” who is now affectionately known as “Officer Slam”. This individual picked up, out of her desk for no apparent reason, a female elementary school student and slammed her to the floor. His Chief of Police advised the concerned community that the policeman lost his job for “improper technique”. Really!!?? This senior police executive’s response was entirely wrongheaded and insufficient; and highly illustrative of what happens when the police, police themselves.

This incident was nothing less than a reckless use of force, and not a demonstration of “improper technique”; and it was worthy of more than dismissal. Moreover, this is not just an American example of something that could not happen North of the border; let’s not forget elderly and infirmed women being thrown to the ground; or deluded old men in hospital beds and confused immigrants wandering about the airport being Tasered by your members and…….ON YOUR WATCH!!

The South Carolina example is a good one in that it begs for a stronger sanction than dismissal. Was such a sanction forthcoming from the police, policing themselves? Apparently not!! I firmly believe that the vast majority of RCMP members are well motivated; however due to numbers and inadequate selection criteria (check out the requirements for large municipal departments e.g. Vancouver) a small number are not only deficient but constitute a public menace.

The current debate on the effectiveness of the RCMP as a national police service has reached a critical juncture, and you “Bobby Boy” have fallen on the wrong side of the argument. You may not have been wandering about NHQ in the nude, but when you suggest that the RCMP can police itself, on any level, you have violated the public trust. I look forward to engaging you in the “square circle” and we’ll see who the real “baby-face” is! (Calm yourself “Bobbo”, remember this is all “shtick” to sell tickets to the Match of the Century!!)

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”

–Winston Churchill

Dr. Mike Webster
Registered Psychologist

  1. One afternoon prior to a meditation session, Sparrow asked, “What does it mean to be in over your head?” Raven Roshi responded, “The Commissioner can’t swim.”

  2. It was one beautiful morning when Salmon swam close to Grizzly’s fishing pool, actually within reach of the massive bear, “Does courage play a role in one’s life?” ,asked the flashing fish. “Yes, a major role”, answered the hulking bear. “How should I cultivate it?”, inquired the fish. “By watering and weeding it at every opportunity,” offered the huge creature.

  3. Could not have said it better myself…

    We all want change but no one really wants to change and if they keep hiding behind their so called investigations, powerless departments and public elected Ministers that say no one can really do anything when it comes to what a 2013 Maclean report said; was a Royal National disgrace.

    Look at the Mike Duffy investigation and those 31 charges and you can see how worthless that force has become…. after all that money spent they couldn’t even secure one lousy conviction…. but we that tax payers will surely foot the bill for this political/police mess.

  4. Late one evening under the stars Lynx asked Gray Wolf, “What does courage look like?” The Wolf thought for a moment, “Staff Jordan’s integrity in standing up to NHQ’s pressure to get Global’s Doug Small for the federal budget leak in 1989.” “Wow, that’s a long time ago”, said Lynx. “That’s what no courage looks like”, asserted the wild dog.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: