LETTERS – JANUARY 2013
November 19, 2012 By Morley Lymburner
773 words – MR
LETTERS – JANUARY 2013
I read with great interest Matt Sheehy’s article “Transportation Security In Crisis” (October 2012). I could not agree more with Matt’s point of view. The amount of money and capital resources being poured into security is unbelievable. It is a known fact that only a small percentage of the Canadian population commit crime. Security efforts should be focused on these people. As a police officer, I cannot treat every person I deal with like a criminal. There’s no need for it, nor is it productive. I believe very few Canadian citizens are any sort of threat to our airways.
My family recently flew to the USA for a vacation. I can recall the hassle and unnecessary delays going through security. We checked our luggage in Canada but then had to reclaim our luggage and recheck again before going through US Customs. Not to mention going thru a security checkpoint again even though we never left the terminal. I watched as my 6 year old son was x-rayed and patted down by security. We were on vacation. I am a police officer. I felt like a criminal.
I will never forget what happened on 9/11 but I think the security measures are reaching to far. In a world of fiscal restraint, most police agencies are guided by intelligence-led policing, not problem-oriented-policing. Our governments should use intelligence and stop believing every traveler is the problem.
Kudos to Blue Line (Warm fuzzy policing can result in cold hard reality – September 2012) for addressing the “fuzzy” thinking, or lack of thinking, on this issue. I cringe at the thought of being directed to participate in such a hare-brained” get the public to like us” plan.
Individual officers and police services would be far better off to stop the unreasonable and “predatory” ticketing practices that see John and Jane Q Public getting a mitt full of traffic tickets because they did one thing wrong.
The relentless obsession with “numbers” and/or the “get ’em to come to court (so I get paid extra) and plead guilty to something” tactics do more to damage community and police relations than any “rewards program” can ever hope to undo with its “get the public to like us” scheme.
Likewise, sitting at the bottom of a ski hill to nab speeders is just plain stupid and unreasonable. The objective of traffic enforcement is to change drivers’ behaviour and improve road safety. Officers need to stick to doing a quality job with a healthy dose of reasonableness and focus on the purpose.
I read your “Publisher’s Commentary,” (
Your readers might want to read my letter to the Calgary Herald, Nov 26th.
<The term “contract policing” refers to the contracts the RCMP have with provincial, municipal and territorial governments. Twenty-year police service agreements were renewed earlier this year in eight provinces, three territories and about 150 municipalities.
The RCMP got involved in contract policing during the Great Depression, when provinces were in financial trouble. Ottawa came to the rescue by offering the RCMP services at a discount. Even today, Ottawa picks up $600 million per year of the contract policing bill.
Prior to the 1930s, most of the provinces had their own police services. Ontario and Quebec have had their own for more than 100 years.
Canada has matured economically and demographically. The RCMP can no longer continue to provide the present wide range of services.
The Herald reports that Robert Lunney, a former RCMP superintendent, writes in the latest edition of Canadian Public Administration that the force is a “monolithic entity” that is committed to too many roles and has no clear core mission.
A true statement and one that has been repeated by many present and former members of the RCMP. The federal government should define a clear mission for the RCMP and leave the day-to-day policing to the provinces and territories.>
I know Mr. Lymburner has in interest in helping to identify the short comings of the RCMP (see “The Brown Report five years later” Blue Line Commentary – November 2012) and frankly I am glad that there is a voice that looks to independently hold the Force accountable to the public and to its membership. Mr. Lymburner is fair and unbiased in his approach and I for one appreciate it.
St. Albert, Alberta
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