Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Double standard apparent

with 6 comments

Well, the holidays are over and I managed to contain my vitriol whenever I came across yet another story about political correctness run amok. The controversy generated by the Elmdale Public School in the Ottawa area was perhaps the best example of political correctness in the lunatic fringe, in this case best espoused by teachers and their inevitably wrong union.
But the story over the holidays that really got me was the one about the suspension of Burnaby Mountie Richard Jacques for 10 days.
Constable Jacques was found guilty of abusing his position to help his girlfriend leave the scene of an accident. He was also found guilty on separate occasions, by either not following orders or failing to properly investigate crimes ranging from a break-and-enter to an attempted abduction. Pretty serious stuff one would think. But not serious enough to make the officer pay forfeit with his job.
So, if I understand this correctly, this member demonstrated he is not prepared to follow policy and, perhaps more to the point, lacked the integrity to follow the law and his duty and deliberately engaged in activity that should be more properly described as obstruction, a criminal code offence.
And for all of that, the RCMP gave Cst. Jacques a 10 day suspension. Ten days for turning his back on the oath he took and permanently destroying any credibility he would need to be involved in any prosecution he may be involved with in the future.
I’m appalled frankly. How is it that Cpl. Robert Read and Staff Sergeant Bob Stenhouse, were fired for doing nothing more than telling the truth and this guy gets a ten day rip?
There’s no question that both Read and Stenhouse coloured outside the lines as laid out within the RCMP when they spoke to folks outside the Force because the bureaucracy within was failing miserably. That was wrong. But if it was wrong enough to get fired, how in the world can the Force justify the continued employment of someone like Cst. Jacques?
Read and Stenhouse were trying to do the right thing and got fired by the pointy-headed bureaucrats that run the RCMP. Jacques was trying to circumvent the law and abused his position as a police officer. He will never again have the credibility necessary to mount a successful prosecution, something which is central to his job. Why isn’t the Force holding him up to the same standard as two members who were actually trying to do the right thing?
I have a major problem with this double standard.
Leo Knight
leo@primetimecrime.com
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Written by Leo Knight

January 7, 2008 at 7:01 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment

6 Responses

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  1. Come on, Leo, what’s the big deal? It happens all the time everywhere – this guy just happened to get caught at it!

    Anonymous

    January 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm

  2. Double standards are everywhere Leo, particularly in the Police service. Look at Calgary over the past decade and you will see little else but double standards in the way that two successive chiefs managed their respective shop. Perhaps more important is the fact that the remaining standards are observed by many to be eroding rapidly.

    Anonymous

    January 12, 2008 at 11:09 pm

  3. Leo, you seemed surprised over the issue of double standards.

    Take a moment and reflect over your policing career.

    How many members had you worked with that had questionable ethics and behaviors yet never seemed to get their just due? They always managed to slither out from a dilemma or shirk responsibility.

    Even scarier, how many politicked their way up to senior management positions?

    Thus the ‘old boys’ network is perpetuated with the institution of policing and the public suffering the consequences.

    The only surprise is how long its taken people to clue in.

    Anonymous

    January 13, 2008 at 1:57 am

  4. I think that in this case there are few questions that would have to be asked in regards to why the RCMP would give a “double standard” in terms of discipline. For example:

    1) How much seniority does Cst. Jacques have?

    2) Is he biologically related to anyone in the chain of command? Or Government?

    3)How much “dirt” does he have on how many members, senior rank and junior rank?

    I hate to say it, but its been my experience that guys like Stenhouse and Read can blow the whistle and get hung out to dry; for basically doing that which is in the public interest. But a guy like Cst. Jacques can get away either scot-free, or with a light tap on the wrist. Internal politics has always played a role in bad cops getting away with anything and everything; and at least one of those 3 questions/answers will always apply, regardless of whether its RCMP, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton or Timbuktu, Sask.

    Obviously, the RCMP as a police force has a very serious credibility problem and this idiot -and the people responsible for getting a grip on him – as well as the disciplinary procees, haven’t improved matters any.

    Anonymous

    January 13, 2008 at 7:20 pm

  5. “I think that in this case there are few questions that would have to be asked in regards to why the RCMP would give a “double standard” in terms of discipline”

    The 3 questions posted later on in the paragraph are bang on. However a 4th question should be asked as well:

    Is this constable a visible minority or member of a minority group?

    Like it or not the above question is also a deciding factor in disciplinary actions or promotions; especially where the Federal Gov’t is concerned.

    Anonymous

    January 15, 2008 at 1:34 am

  6. As a 27 year member of the RCMP that personally knows Bob Stenhouse, your post absolutely hits the nail on the head!
    Accountability in this organization only refers to those that are front line resources. Our former Commissioner should be in gaol, not collecting a nice pension! He disgraced us all.
    It appears to be that our senior executive can get away with anything, including breaching Charter Rights, (as in my case), and nothing happens unless you take them to court.
    Not a great working environment, I can assure you of that!!

    By the way, 10 days is the maximum penalty you can get for a code of conduct offence without getting fired! Perhaps a criminal code charge would have got him out!

    Anonymous

    January 17, 2008 at 6:10 pm


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