Tom Rataj

Tom Rataj

“Halifax Regional Police along with various other agencies across Canada are partnering with Public Safety Canada to test two roadside devices to detect the presence of any illegal substance,” Halifax Const. Fraser said.http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/read-your-saliva-halifax-police-rolling-out-roadside-drug-testing-pilot-project-1.3245437
Internal reports detail critical IT failures at the RCMP. Poor services and mistakes at Shared Services Canada are causing issues that jeopardize police work and the safety of officers and the public."We cannot continue to operate like this," Lois Karr, manager of the operational communications centre for the RCMP in B.C., wrote in February 2016.http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rcmp-shared-services-canada-woes-1.3939775
RCMP Insp. Teddy Munro said he can't imagine the heartache and loss felt by everyone affected. At the same time, he said the officer's actions likely prevented further bloodshed. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/rcmp-la-loche-shooter-surrender-1.3938172
Manitoba Public Insurance will be removing addresses from the ownership documents of non-commercial vehicle registration cards in the interest of protecting the privacy and security of Manitobans. The move is supported by the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police because police all have electronic access to that data through a number of ways.http://www.mysteinbach.ca/news/824/vehicle-owner-addresses-to-be-removed-from-registration-cards/
A black RCMP officer in Halifax is defending the controversial 'street checks' as a key part of solving some crimes despite calls to end the controversial practice.'I know the value in it because I lived it when I was working on the street'http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/african-nova-scotian-street-checks-police-crime-rcmp-1.3937437 
In much of Canada, snow and freezing temperatures are the norm from November through March, give or take a few weeks and the occasional random storm.
They were called “police” cars but they weren’t, really Looking over the materials for this month’s cover story, our annual Best Dressed Police Vehicle contest, makes me reflect, reminisce (and cringe) at my memories of the sad state of affairs that police cars once were. When I joined the then Metropolitan Toronto Police Force as a cadet back in 1979, I was assigned to the Summons Bureau, where my daily duties consisted of delivering outstanding parking tickets to often unwilling recipients. I was shocked to discover that my ride for the first few months at least, was a bright yellow marked Ford Pinto two-door that had seen better days, sometime well before my arrival. Nagging in the back of my mind of course was also the propensity for the Pinto’s to explode into a ball of fire when rear-ended. For a time afterwards I was assigned a brand-new metallic brown unmarked AMC Spirit. It’s not surprising that AMC went out of business, considering how poorly designed and built, and uncomfortable that Spirit was. One could easily get sea-sick if relegated to the front passenger seat because the ride was so soft. During my final six months or so my regular ride was upgraded to a brand-new marked Ford Fairmont four-door sedan with a relatively rare six-cylinder engine (most others only had the inline-four). Without roof-lights of any kind, the car was mistaken for a taxi on more than one occasion. After turning 21 and being sworn in as a constable I was sent off to recruit training at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer Ontario. During field training and then after graduation I finally got to move up to a “real” police car, although real would soon get tempered by the reality of what that was, or more accurately, wasn’t. In an apparent attempt to save money, we continued to get still more Ford Fairmonts (mostly with four-cylinder engines that stalled if one attempted a quick 3-point turn). Some of these actually had A/C, but the vinyl benches persisted, presenting a challenge when 2 officers of largely different stature had to share the car for a shift. The taller officer typically drove so they didn’t have to sit with their knees rubbing against the dashboard all night long. The Fairmonts were replaced quite quickly once their complete unsuitability for police work was realised. We then got mostly Plymouth Caravelle/Gran Fury’s equipped with an anemic slant-six mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. They had vinyl bench seats, untinted manual windows, no A/C, and no police equipment other than an antique GE police radio. Roof-lights consisted of six large red incandescent tractor-lights mounted on a primitive roof rack that howled-up a storm at highway speeds. Our traffic colleagues were at least lucky because they had actual real sirens – beautiful long cylindrical chrome units, while we divisional guys got saddled with cheap European-style two-tone “mee-maw” horns that created more confusion with the public then clearing the way for us during emergencies. There was also no prisoner partition and there was nowhere to put portable radios, so officers quickly improvised and pried the dash-vents out, wedging the portable radio into the resulting hole, which was a surprisingly good fit. We eventually got basic wire-mesh partitions, A/C and tinted windows, electronic sirens and in the late 80’s a MDT. Thankfully Dodge ended production of the Caravelle/Gran Fury’s (so we couldn’t buy them anymore) and we finally got full-sized Ford LTD’s and a few Chevy Impalas. With that we got V8s, tinted power windows, commercially built partitions and roof-lights and the Panasonic ToughBook computer. We also got a proper centre console with a mobile radio, proper siren and PA controls, and even coffee cup holders. Before retiring last year, I marvelled at how far police cars had come during my years of service. Now equipped with all the usual creature comforts, plus state of the art mobile computers, GPS, shotguns/patrol rifles, in-car cameras, stylish decal packages and all proper commercially made equipment. Car manufacturers have also stepped-up quite nicely over those years, providing a wide range of police-specific features and equipment in their police-package offerings, instead of just bolting heavy-duty everything onto regular cars and selling them as “police” cars. Another thing that has changed a lot over the years is the implementation of joint management and employee equipment committees that brought enlightened and progressive thinking to the fleet procurement and equipment process. User input has gone a long way towards fielding real “police cars” and professional equipment for all. Enjoy the rides, and this issue.
Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC. At Mitsubishi, we don’t provide the best warranty in the game because we have to – we do it because we can. An unmatched combination of quality and durability means you can rest assured that you’re making the best decision when you add a Mitsubishi to your fleet. http://www.mitsubishi-motors.ca/fleet
Safariland announces the release of their new PROTECH Tactical Fast Attack Vest outfitted with the FirstSpear® Tubes™ Closure System. This new closure system allows users to put-on and remove their Fast Attack Vest using a single-handed down or up movement to connect the front and rear panels. This system is ideal during stressful emergency situations and ensures proper positioning and fit every time.http://www.safariland.com/
TestReadyPro.com is the recognized leader in professional recruitment preparation for Emergency Service Candidates and Military Employment Transition; Ontario Police Recruits - PATI, WCT Tests, BPAD PREP for C.O.R, RCMP, CBSA, Corrections, Special Constable GATB, Forces CFAT/eCFAT, Paramedic and Firefighter candidates, Ontario Security Guard, Private Investigator plus Application, Resume and Interview preparation for entry level and supervisor candidates.http://testreadypro.com/ 
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is an ultrathin Windows 10 Pro tablet computer. Available with one of three 6th gen. Intel Core processors (m3, i5 and i7), 4-16GB RAM and 128GB-1TB in solid-state storage. The 12.3”high-resolution PixelSense Display is touch-enabled and also accepts input from the Surface Pen. Features one full-sized USB 3 port, microSD card reader, mini-DisplayPort and headphone jacks. Rated at 9 hours run-time. Available with optional Type Cover.https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/surface
A Federal Court judge has agreed that two lawsuits over sexual-harassment complaints against the police force can proceed as a class action.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/womens-sex-harassment-suit-against-rcmp-certified-as-class-action/article33632680/
Next week, the Ottawa Police Service will overhaul how it deploys hundreds of front-line officers — some two thirds of the force.Supt. Ford said the 800 officers who do front-line work are being brought together under one front-line department.http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-police-patrol-overhaul-1.3934519 
Just last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel suggested that new police recruit candidates with minor drug and criminal offenses be considered to become Chicago Police officers, in an effort to attract minorities. Rham Emanuel — alongside three powerful Chicago politicians — are raising the issue of lowering standards in response to recommendations made in the Obama administration’s Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement report, released by the U.S. Department of Justice Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October of this year.https://www.policeone.com/police-jobs-and-careers/articles/249464006-Police-hiring-standards-Raise-them-or-lower-them/
I don’t know what trouble brought a police car to a house on my block in Montreal this week, but something was definitely wrong with the cruiser. It had a big red sticker on it, in the middle of the hood. It was one of thousands of protest stickers that, according to an arbitration panel ruling earlier this week, Montreal police must remove from their cars and division offices.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/uniform-protest-could-cost-montreal-police-public-respect/article33623987/
Eight Delta police vehicles have been equipped with GPS dart technology that allows officers to attach a tracking projectile onto a suspect vehicle that fails to stop.According to spokeswoman Sharlene Brooks, more than 70 vehicles tried to evade police in the Vancouver suburb last year.http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/delta-police-gps-darts-1.3933242
Provincial police in southwestern Ontario say they're implementing a strategy to support people being victimized through human traffickingThe OPP say they believe human trafficking is a vastly underreported crime and the victims are coerced into sexual exploitation or forced labour.They say the most vulnerable targets for human traffickers are young women, at-risk youth, youth in care, migrant workers, indigenous people, and people with addiction and mental health issues.http://windsor.ctvnews.ca/opp-have-new-initiative-to-combat-human-trafficking-1.3241305
Canadian analysis warns only the "tip of the iceberg" may be known about UN peacekeepers accused of sexual abuse and exploitation.OTTAWA—The United Nations is grappling with “glaring gaps” in accountability for peacekeepers accused of sexually abusing people they’ve been sent to protect, internal Canadian government documents suggest.The documents show the UN is facing serious hurdles in holding their own peacekeepers to account, including “turf wars” over jurisdiction and “weak (or) non-existent” judicial systems in host countries.https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/01/14/un-peacekeeping-has-glaring-accountability-gaps-documents-show.html
In an interview as her tenure ends, Lynch strongly defended the Justice Department's aggressive intervention in local law enforcement during the Obama administration, including the decision to repeatedly seek court-enforceable improvement plans with troubled police agencies. One such consent decree came Thursday in Baltimore, and the Justice Department a day later issued a scathing report on the Chicago Police Department.https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/ap-interview-lynch-says-us-must-hold-police-165818554--spt.html
The 26 newest members of the Vancouver Police Department, Recruit Class 153, who were sworn in on Thursday, included four South Asians – three Punjabis and one Tamil: Gary Athwal, Mandy Grewal, Gurpal Mann, and Kevin Regie Gnanaseelan, who becomes the department’s only Sri Lankan-Tamil police officer.http://bit.ly/2ioSsnC
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