LETTERS – Aug/Sep 2013
By Morley Lymburner
By Morley Lymburner
392 words — MR AUG 2013 Letters
I really enjoy each and every issue of Blue Line Magazine. Lots of great information on a variety of topics related to today’s policing environment. While I don’t normally write a “letter to the editor” I feel I must comment on the cover photo of the June/July issue. It’s great that police members interact in a positive manner with the community and nothing better and more valuable than interacting with our youth. Fishing is a great way to do that. What troubles me about the June/July cover is that the member is not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) – at least there isn’t one visible.
With the duty belts and body armour, one would have difficulty staying afloat if they were to fall into the water. While the member may be able to doff his duty belt and body armour, I would like his chances better if he were wearing a PFD. On June 3, 2005, a good friend of mine, Cst. Jean Minguy of the Vernon RCMP Detachment, fell out of a police boat on Okanagan Lake. Jean was wearing his duty belt and body armour but was unable to remove it. Jean wasn’t wearing a PFD and subsequently lost his life. Subsequent to this Cst. Mike Potvin fell out of a boat and drowned on the Stewart River in Mayo, Yukon. He wasn’t wearing a PFD. His career had barely started. Something as simple as wearing a non intrusive PFD can save your life. Please wear your PFD if you are on or around water. Give yourself a chance to survive.
When I first saw that picture it passed through my mind that a PFD would have been a good object lesson for everyone seeing it. My experience, however, is that too many officers take their personal safety for granted. Going into bar fights wearing exterior armour, wearing soft forage caps instead of helmets, directing traffic with no hat or reflective vest, heavy gun belts, mind crushing 12-hour shifts, failing to keep fit and not calling for backup are just a few little misadventures cops take for granted.
However the real problem now-a-days is a distinct lack of leadership by managers who simply do not want to make or enforce rules.
Good letter Eric.