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COMMENTARY · 26th July 2010
Bill Braam
I have had a lifelong admiration for the RCMP. I even had aspirations of becoming a Mountie when I turned 19 but alas I didn't get past the initial eye test. No problem really, I can still stand on the sidelines and support them, especially now when there seems to be a movement afoot to not renew their contract in BC in the next couple of years.

Some individuals, perhaps in an attempt to get back at the local police person seem to want nothing better than to see a reintroduction of the BC Police force. The BC Civil Liberty organization will even be touring BC in August to compile alleged wrongdoings of our local individual mounties.

I myself do not agree that an introduction of a completely new BC police force will change anything. I fully believe that the RCMP can evolve and renew itself to reflect the expectations of the average citizen. The RCMP, in my opinion, has overcome uncountable obstacles since their historic 'March west' in 1873. I believe that the general progression of our societal loss of respect for each other as persons is at the heart of problems police everywhere are having.

Not just the RCMP are having problems, police forces everywhere are having problems. I believe that the RCMP, which has world wide respect for its training in Regina, can come to terms with our expectations. Supporting your local Mountie is the start of their renewal.

There are innumerable RCMP officers who are very honest and competent and deserve our support. They do not deserve to be tarnished by the alleged infraction of a few of their fellow officers.

Next time you see a Mountie give him or her a smile and a wave; this one little courtesy will, when done by a whole community, work wonders in supporting a force which has supporting us all for more than 150 years. Thank you for your time.
Local 'walk abouts'
Comment by Kim Woodd on 2nd August 2010
A special thanks to the officers who have been patrolling the downtown area and library park in Terrace. There have been much fewer incidents and problems with public drunkeness and rowdies since they have been walking about and getting to know the local scene.
The RCMP simulacra
Comment by Igby Mac on 1st August 2010
I question this love-in for the local constabulary, as I do all contemporary policing in Canada. I find this rather frightening to consider that the average Canadian prefers to judge separately the member's behaviour outside of the force with his conduct within.

Much like a CEO of a corporation can claim he or she is gravely concerned about the environmental destruction left in its wake but, as CEO, he charges right on ahead ignoring these economic externalities in pursuit of profits; the RCMP as a corporation is not to be regarded with high esteem despite the members within who may earnestly believe they are providing an invaluable service.

Taken one step further, upon examining the behaviour of an officer on duty, the police brotherhood pledge almost always takes precedent over one's own conscionable behaviour while on duty. The gang mentality kicks in and, turning a blind eye, becomes the norm when faced with the Serpico paradox.

The RCMP are individuals who, taken collectively, are not doing the job its PR campaign likes to portray. They have evolved from the local patrolman with a nightstick - the symbolic Mountie on the horse - into the strong arm of the state.

And when the state has lost its way, as ours clearly has, being its enforcer is not particularly admirable.