Via Terry O’Neill @ The Shotgun Blog (the preceding still seems like it should be a typo), this week’s issue of Macleans features a must read cover story by Jonathon Gatehouse and Charlie Gillis, What’s really killing the Mounties.
This past summer, David Brown, the Toronto lawyer charged with investigating the mishandling of the RCMP’s pension and insurance funds, lifted the lid on a much more serious problem, declaring the force’s culture, governance and management structure “horribly broken.” (A new task force he is chairing will deliver recommendations on how to fix the problems to the Harper government next month.) As a constitutional challenge over legislation that denies RCMP officers the right to unionize looms, the divide between front-line members and their “white shirt” bosses seems wider than ever. According to the results of an internal 2007 survey, only 50 per cent of RCMP employees now believe they are treated fairly by the force; just 54 per cent feel “respected and trusted” by their superiors; and a feeble 26 per cent agree that the force develops capable and competent senior leaders. Much has been made of the recent appointment of William Elliott, a former bureaucrat and “new broom” commissioner who replaced Giuliano Zaccardelli, who resigned in disgrace over the Maher Arar affair. But even with a civilian at the helm, the force’s taste—or capacity—for the type of reforms needed to address such widespread concerns remains an open question.
As O’Neill notes, the report was apparently written prior to the release of the Robert Dziekanski Taser video, but still provides an exhaustive rundown of the overall disarray afflicting all levels of RCMP culture, of which the Taser incident is the latest (if most visceral) example. Read the whole damn thing; maybe Dawg is right.
PS – Never forget.
Oh, and Dave @ the Beav reports that suggestions the use of its product may have actually resulted in someone keeling over (again) has given TASER Int’l the vapors. Not quite at the level of excited delirium, thankfully. Still, company security best keep close watch on the executive offices, just in case.