The Issue: Naughty Cop Not Wanted in BC
BC Premier Christy Clark is not happy that a disgraced Alberta RCMP officer has been sent to the West Coast. In a Vancouver Province article, she mentions her reasons for her discontent with having Sgt. Don Ray sent to BC. Clark thinks that RCMP Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens made the wrong decision in accepting the transfer: “I think a lot of women are watching this guy and saying ‘it isn’t right.’” Sgt. Ray was reprimanded for having sex with subordinates, exposing himself to a co-worker and drinking on the job.
Being that Premier Clark has voiced her concerns and discontent about Sgt. Ray being transferred to her province, a rhetorical question or two may be in order. Does it really matter if one more naughty RCMP officer takes up residency in BC? It is not like BC is exactly free of naughty RCMP anyways. And really, the RCMP in several communities in that province seem to be struggling to redeem, or whatever we term it as, the indiscretions of some of their members, such as Staff Sgt. Stuart Seib, from Merritt, who was charged after allegations that he was stealing cocaine from a police evidence locker earlier this year. Seib is no longer with the RCMP, resigning from the force a number of months after the allegations and his arrest, although apparently two charges have been laid: theft under $5,000 and breach of trust, dating back to 2010.
Speaking of 2010, BC lawyer and politician David Eby spoke of one detachment’s issues that year: “Kamloops RCMP have had a tough year, with 7 officers criminally charged or currently under investigation since January before this latest incident. With these new allegations of creepy voyeurism among male staff charged with the saftey of female prisoners, the total is now 10 officers charged or currently under investigation, and for company, 3 RCMP supervised civilians. Kamloops is rapidly approaching 10% of the 120 member detachment criminally charged or under investigation. There are five separate criminal charges laid against Kamloops RCMP [members] since January. The latest set of allegations involve a 20-year RCMP Corporal, who is in charge of the cell block management.”
Further, Eby says: “Incidentally, should we be celebrating Kamloops for investigating and assisting in the prosecution of their wayward officers, rather than saying there’s a problem they’ve got so many cops charged? Food for thought.” Of course, since his post, more RCMP, even outside BC and Alberta, have shaken the trust of many. What is the problem with some RCMP members? Or is there even a problem, per say? Are we perhaps looking at an institution that we as people have put up on a pedestal, failing to realize or accept that RCMP are only human, too?
Or are we correct in expecting and at times demanding transparency and accountability from those (the RCMP) who ask, no excuse me, expect that citizens provide the same? Perhaps the only difference is that it is a lot more difficult to receive accountability from the RCMP, opposed to the average citizen having to provide accountability to the RCMP.
Some detachments say they are putting together programs, and that they are trying to bring back any trust that citizens and the community may have lost in them over the growing number of allegations and charges that some members of their institution are facing. Perhaps, this is the time that we as concerned citizens should watch diligently to see what programs, and to see what changes the RCMP brings forth to have a better-functioning institution.
Want to wager a guess that the RCMP will shine brighter in the next year or so? For me at least, I like to think we should be solution-focused, giving most a second chance, but then that can only be accomplished if we are the solution and not the problem.