How many of you have read the news today?

I have and I have got to tell you that my opinion of the police services (in particular the RCMP)in this country falls a little harder each day.

A third RCMP officer charged with impaired driving.
Or should I say the first.
(See our News Headlines at Under Busted Knuckle News)

From the Globe and Mail.....The newly disclosed case involves Corporal Darren Baker, a 38-year-old school-liaison officer with the North Vancouver RCMP.
Last Dec. 15, he was stopped just before 1 a.m. by members of the West Vancouver Police Department assigned to an integrated road-safety initiative.

"They stopped the vehicle after observing it being driven erratically and, while dealing with the driver, they formed the opinion that the driver's ability to drive a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol," Constable Linteau said.

Based on two samples of his breath, the driver was served with an appearance notice and administrative driving prohibition, she said.

Charges of impaired driving and driving over .08 were approved by the Crown in March of this year, and Cpl. Baker is to face trial on Jan. 27 in Provincial Court. He is also facing a disciplinary hearing next February.

From CBC...Linteau said the RCMP also conducted a code of conduct investigation against Baker, who belonged to a school liaison unit, but has since been placed in administrative duties. He will face a disciplinary hearing on Feb. 25 and 26, she said.

From the Vancouver Sun...New Westminster police spokesman Sgt. Ivan Chu would not release the name of the officer but confirmed she was a secondary school liaison officer. GlobalBC identified her as Tomi Hamner. She was moved to administrative duties following the accident, Chu said.

OK, so now there are three RCMP officers from the lower mainland of BC that have been charged with impaired driving.

Now correct me if I am reading wrong. School Liaison Officer?

Two of them WERE School Liaison officers at the time they were arrested for impaired driving and the other officer allegedly had his kids in the car.

I am detecting THREE very unsettling themes here.

1: 3 RCMP Officers Drinking and Driving - all from the lower mainland of BC
2: A total lack of regard for the children of our communities....
3: RCMP officers and their superiors Serving their own agendas and Protecting their butts.

I may not be the brightest bunny in the bunch but I have a decent memory for an old broad and I recall something my father told me a long time ago and I have heard similar things preached by motivational speakers and people of wisdom...

And that is: A team is only as good as its leader.

"One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency."-Arnold Glasow

"The best leader brings out the best in those he has stewardship over."-

J. Richard Clarke

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."- William Arthur Ward

Well, something appears to be wrong with the leaders of the RCMP in the Lower Mainland Region of BC - somehow they are not getting the message through to their officers. Its one thing to get down on the individual members involved here. They should know better than to behave the way they have.

But the real question here is - did no one see that these officers were in trouble?
Are the powers that be not paying attention to their people? What kind of leaders don't see that the stress their officers are under is doing them in? Or are the higher ups leading by example and these officers felt it was OK to drink and drive? WHAT is going on?

How do you get kids to have respect for a uniform when this is the kind of conduct they are hearing and seeing? When an officers name is shielded from the same type of media exposure as John Q do you teach our kids?

With the Young Offenders act protecting them and the ones who are supposed to be leading by example committing these kinds of tell me - how do you convince kids they should show some respect? These three officers make that next to impossible - the message that's being received and perceived by the youth of this country is devastating.

My next question about all of this involves the naming of officers when the are charged.

The normal process as I understand it is:
Step 1: Arrest
Step 2: Charges (informal) laid by police/RCMP - it is here in most cases involving John Q Citizen that names are released to the media
Step 3: Formally charged by judge

But when are the names of Police Officers who have been charged (Step 2) released?

In the case of all three officers the media found out by searching court records - not through any release from the RCMP. Step 2 it appears is only for John Q Citizen - In every release they refused to name the officer.

If you believe B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal - (From the Edmonton Sun) Oppal points out no member of the public is ever named prior to the laying of a charge.
He says because the officer’s name has been reported by several media outlets it could be argued that the Mountie is receiving unfavourable treatment.
(Look at the dates of the charges in the other two officers March and October of 2008 something about his comment doesn't ring very true now does it?)

My head is swimming.

I can not wrap my head around all of the dire consequences of the actions of three individual police officers, their commanding officers, the BC Attorney General and the many mixed messages that are being put out there - I can only imagine what a hormonal and angry teen must be thinking - I remember those days.

In an ironic way what's happening to the RCMP's reputation is fitting - it's being damaged by the actions of a few. Just like what happens to OUR community. How many times have people who ride motorcycles been tarred by a brush that wasn't theirs to wear? I know I have been.

If one applied the tactics and logic the RCMP as a whole appears to use when dealing with "Bikers" and "Motorcycle Event Coordinators" then one could, if one chooses to, tar all RCMP officers with the brush of drunken, disrespectful, self serving, authority abusing oafs.

Paybacks are a bitch and sometimes very humbling. And I for one love Poetic Justice.

My father, who was filled with many tidbits and truisms, once said on the subject of dealing with jerks, liars and bullies - "Give them enough rope - they'll hang themselves - you don't need to do anything - they'll do it to themselves." Guess what - he was right.

If you are lucky enough to still be riding - PLEASE ride like they are out to get you.

Belt Drive Betty

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