Blue Line

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LETTERS – JUNE 2016


April 18, 2016
By Morley Lymburner

Mr. Lymburner,… I read our “Engaging a Charter Right” commentary (February 2016) with some interest, as the thesis of the article has been a question of mine for many years. I agree that the peace officers and “parallel law enforcement” officers (great phrase) should be armed when appropriate for the job and the risks that they face.

I feel that it was important that you know your opinion is one that I have come to respect over the years of reading Blue Line. I wanted to thank you for the excellent publication, I tear through it cover-to-cover the day that it arrives in the mail. There have been more than a few articles that are passed around at our leadership meetings or training sessions.

I encourage you to keep beating the drum of preparedness and vigilance, it pushes the rest of the industry forward and that can only be good for everyone. I hope it helps you to know that someone is already dancing to that beat, and has been for a while.

Chris Eddy
Edmonton AB

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In February 2015 I stopped a snowmobile while it was being driven on a roadway. Upon speaking with the driver, I noted a moderate smell of alcohol emitting from his breath and the fact that his face was flushed. (no driving evidence other than being on the roadway) Subsequently I read him the demand for an approved instrument. Datamaster readings were 100mgs and 100mgs.

From previous similar fact cases I anticipated a Section 8 Charter argument. In a rather timely manner, the March 2015 edition of Blue Line contained a recent case law on breath sample demands (R v, Schofield 2015 VSCA) in which Judges should give weight to seasoned officer’s testimony when it comes to the RPG’s to read the demand. I made a copy of this article and put it aside just in case!

The accused went to trial with a veteran trial lawyer on February 2nd 2016. As predicted a Section 8 Charter argument resulted in a voir dire before the trial to try to have the certificate of a qualified technician tossed.

Prior to the voir dire, I presented this case law to the crown. When on the stand the Crown placed emphasis on my 32 years as a police officer, my having conducted 450 breath tests as a technician, and also my many impaired arrests. The defense tried to get the case tossed on the weak grounds of no driving evidence. The case was reserved for decision.

On March 4th, the trial Judge ruled in the Crown’s favour and admitted the certificate into evidence. She read into her submission verbatim the findings of the case. I believe that without having provided the Crown with this recent case law that this matter would have been lost.

I would like to thank Mike Novakowski for his continual publications of current cases. They help us to gain successful convictions against these Charter arguments. And thank you Morley for publishing them in each edition of Blue Line Magazine.

Sgt. Bob Bruce
Miramichi Police Force

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I was reading the Article by Elvin Klassen in the February edition of Blue Line Magazine which we all enjoy here at the office. In the article he quotes the price of a Highway Distress Flare at $10 to $20 each – in fact the nominal
cost of these flares to most Police Agencies will run below $4 (Canadian). Just to set the record straight.

Keep up the great articles.

Everett Clausen
President C-I-L Explosives