High number of RCMP disciplinary cases called sign of wider policing problem

The record number of RCMP disciplinary cases involving incidents from having sex in cruisers and watching porn to lying under oath and assaulting members of the public, is indicative of a wider problem with Canadian police, a criminologist said Friday.

TORONTO — The record number of RCMP disciplinary cases involving incidents from having sex in cruisers and watching porn to lying under oath and assaulting members of the public, is indicative of a wider problem with Canadian police, a criminologist said Friday.

At root, said Prof. Darryl Davies, is inadequate training, lack of accountability, and a culture of impunity among officers protected by powerful, “militant” unions.

“There’s an attitude within the force — at least within some members — of a sense of entitlement, a sense that we can get away with this,” Davies said.

“It’s too prevalent, not just in the RCMP (but) right across Canada.”

In a new report this week from the Mountie in charge of professional integrity shows a record 104 new formal discipline cases were brought forward in 2012-13, including incidents of drunk driving, ignoring a court subpoena, and lying in relation to a criminal investigation.

The incidents involved both uniformed and civilian members of the federal police force.

Professional Integrity Officer Craig MacMillan said in his report the higher numbers are likely the result of a new effort by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson — armed with a stronger government mandate — to crack down on problem officers.

“It was observed in last year’s report that increased scrutiny and the stated expectations of the new commissioner might lead to an increase in both the number of formal discipline cases and suspensions,” MacMillan said.

“This may well have been an accurate forecast.”

In most cases, punishment for the wayward Mounties was a reprimand and loss of up to 10 days’ pay.

One constable, accused of fraud for improper use of a government fuel card, was ordered to resign. In another case, proceedings were stayed against a staff sergeant accused of lying to superiors because the disciplinary case took too long. One constable was docked a week’s salary for sexually harassing a colleague — the kind of problem that has prompted widespread criticism of the RCMP in recent years.

Davies, an instructor in criminology and criminal justice at Carleton University in Ottawa, called the number and range of offences identified in the report “quite shocking.”

A more rigorous approach to tackling the problem is needed to restore faith in the RCMP and in police in general, he said, than wrist slaps and docked pay.

The solution, he said, is better recruitment, training, and “deprogramming” of a subculture in which officers place loyalty to one another above public duty.

“What Canadians are really looking for are consequences and what is the outcome going to be for these individuals,” said Davies, who noted officers can easily make up forfeited pay by working overtime.

“Until such time as we can inculcate values that place the rule of law and service to the public over and above service to the police subculture, nothing will really change.”

Despite the rising disciplinary numbers, MacMillan pointed out that the already low proportion of officers engaged in misconduct is falling.

“That is unqualified good news,” MacMillan said.

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month