Archive for the ‘RCMP Accountability and Oversight’ Category

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CRCC), formerly known as the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP, was enabled through The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (1988) and revised based on new legislation known as, Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act in 2014. The Commission is an independent agency created to consider and review public complaints against members of the RCMP in regards to misconduct and harm. The commission seeks to investigate public complaints in an unbiased manner in order to find appropriate solutions fairly. However, mainly the CRCC deals with public complaints where complainants are unsatisfied with the RCMP’s informal complaint investigation and seek a review. The CRCC receives complaints, holds thorough investigations where appropriate and necessary according to the RCMP act, holds hearings, makes necessary recommendations, reports findings, and initiates policy changes.

According to, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is established, consisting of a Chairperson and not more than four other members, one of whom may be a Vice-chairperson, appointed by the Governor in Council. The organization falls under the Ministry of Public Safety Canada and all interim and final reports from the chair of the commission are sent to the Minister of Public Safety upon completion. The Chair of the CRCC has duties and powers designated through The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act; these powers include having authority over the commission for procedural fairness and duties being handled appropriately. The Chair is also involved in the complaint review process for police accountability and essentially can initiate a complaint against a member of the RCMP, as well as help a public complaint through the complaint and review process. The organization structure consists of the following: The head of the commission, the Chair, members of the commission, the vice- chair, the executive director, the director of communications and corporate services, senior director of operations, director of reviews, director of national intake, Sr. policy advisor, and Sr. research advisor, as well as legal counsel if needed (CRCC, 2014).

The Commission strives its success on three components, their vision, mission and mandate. Their vision for success is to achieve excellence in policing through accountability. Their mission is to provide civilian oversight of RCMP members’ conduct in performing their policing duties so as to hold the RCMP accountable to the public. Their mandate includes: (1) To receive complaints from the public about the conduct of RCMP member, (2) To conduct reviews when complainants are not satisfied with the RCMP’s handling of their complaints, (2) To hold hearings and carry out investigations, and (4) To report findings and make recommendations (CRCC, 2014).

The Commission is granted legal authorities in relation to complaints through the RCMP Act. Under section, 45.65 paragraphs 1 a-d, the commission’s powers and duties include: (1) summon and enforce attendance of witnesses before the Commission and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce any documents and things that the Commission considers relevant for the full investigation; hearing and consideration of the complaint; (2) administer oaths;

(3) Receive and accept any evidence and other information, whether on oath by affidavit or otherwise, that the Commission sees fit, whether or not that evidence or information is or would be admissible in a court of law; and (4) make any examination of records and any inquiries that the Commission considers necessary.

            The Commission deals with complaints against RCMP members in regards to their police duties and performances while on duty. If a member of the public feels an on duty RCMP member’s conduct is of any harm or concern, they can lodge a complaint. A member of the public whether a Canadian citizen, or not, is eligible to lodge a complaint. The complainant does not have to be directly involved in the incident of complaint. The Commission however does not deal with complaints surrounding administrative matters.

            The relationship between the CRCC and the RCMP is essential to the commission’s process and inner workings; the process involves a member of the public lodging a complaint either to the RCMP first, or straight to the commission. If the complaint is lodged to the RCMP and the complainant is unsatisfied with the results of their complaint, the complainant can request a review to the commission. The commission will then request all the material from RCMP based on their investigation; a review will be done of the informal RCMP process of that complaint. If the CRCC is satisfied with the RCMP investigation, the chair will send the complete report to all parties involved as well as the Minister of Public Safety, thus ending the process. If the Chair is unsatisfied with the RCMP handling of the complaint the following actions can be taken: (1) Review the complaint without further investigation; (2) Ask the RCMP to investigate further; (3) Initiate his own investigation; or (4) Hold a public hearing. In the case of the latter, the chair will create an interim report and submit the findings and recommendations to the RCMP Commissioner and the Minister of Public Safety. The RCMP Commissioner will then give notice and reasons of action or inaction based on the findings and recommendations. An important note to mention is that these recommendations and findings are not legally binding, meaning it isn’t necessary for the RCMP Commissioner to comply and reasons must be stated. The chair will then receive this notice and compile a final report, which will be sent to the RCMP Commissioner, the Minister of Public Safety, the complainant, and all members involved; this will end the complaint process (CRCC, 2014).

            The CRCC was brought in to replace the previous organization known as the, Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, in order to enhance and improve transparency and accountability in regards to investigations of conduct within the RCMP organization. This enhancement is a welcome change in the eyes of the public and the powers designated to this accountability body are in part to increase public confidence within the organization itself as well as the RCMP. Since this accountability body is fairly new, public perception and reputation of the organization are yet to be fully determined.

            With the abovementioned being said, there are serious concerns that still plague the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP accountability body. Firstly, although powers of investigation are deepened, there doesn’t seem to be an issue of the accountability body’s effort to investigate complaints thoroughly. As seen in the Robert Dziekanski case, investigation regarding RCMP conduct was done adequately and recommendations and findings reflected the acceptance of grave misconduct and need for serious change. Policy changes were considered in regards to the use of tasers and police training. However, due to recommendations and findings not being legally binding, the public seems to lose confidence as they may feel a lack of justice served; Yes, the accountability aspect is in a sense achieved but there are no legal consequences resulting from the CRCC for RCMP members who are a part of incidents of serious bodily harm or death. Second, the enhancement of the CPC was an answer to the Arar Commission, which provided recommendations for a new accountability body that would improve the failures connected to the Arar incident, as well as other public inquiries, in terms of how several accountability agencies fail in collaboration and information sharing, which leads to grave misconduct, as well as tragedy. In the video provided, these issues are highlighted in greater detail, which ultimately reveal a greater need for reform.

http://craigscott.ndp.ca/craig-scott-speech-on-bill-c-42-rcmp-accountability

Canada. Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act. (2005). Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Retrieved from https://www.crcc-ccetp.gc.ca/en

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, (R.S.C., 1985, c. R-10) Retrieved from http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/R-10/page-1.html

Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act, (S.C. 2013, c. 18) Retrieved from laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/annualstatues/2013_18/FullText.html

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What Is PROFUNC?

Posted: April 9, 2013 by kbell7 in RCMP Accountability and Oversight

Profunc was a program created by the RCMP in the 1950’s designed to intern individuals it believed to be either working with the soviet (also known as communists) or associated with the “communists” (also known as sympathizers). In the 1950’s, Profunc had approximately 16, 000 suspected communists and 50,000 of their sympathizers on a list to be watched and eventually interned if the call ever came in to do so. The main purpose of Profunc was to have a plan in place, under military control, if the country ever went into a state of emergency, for example World War 3. This program continued on for 33 years and was regularly updated in case the government ever went into a state of emergency at which the C-215 forms (also known as arrest document) would be put into action to arrest, detain and eventually submit individuals to federal prisons across the country.

The reasons behind Profunc were that of suspicion. It was suspected that Profunc was created to increase the number of individuals detained in participation with the FLQ. However, what is clear is that individuals on this list would be spared no expense, including prominent functionaries. As for how the individuals were placed on the list, it was through intelligence gathering. Intelligence is defined as analyzed and processed information (Larsen, 2012). With regards to what extent Profunc represents an example of police deviance is that if the utmost highest. If initiated, Profunc would be ignoring basic Canadian citizenship rights, for example, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, mobility rights, and legal rights just to name a few. Additional as a Canadian citizen, we have a responsibility to participate in the democratic process. Profunc goes against Canadian’s participating in this process and punishes them for doing so. As for the individuals involved, Profunc is a great example of noble cause corruption since the individual’s participating believe that the ends justify the means (Punch, 2009) allowing for the “suspected communists” to be treated however deemed necessary to prevent a national security crisis.

However, during the 1980’s, revelations about the RCMP participating in the “dirty tricks” campaign started to come to light during the McDonald Commission. Because of the findings of the Commission, the RCMP Security Service division was disbanded and resulted in the creation of a new civilian security intelligence service (CSIS) and a Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). Later in the 1980’s, Profunc was promptly disbanded at the hands of an unknowing Solicitor General, Bob Kaplan. Kaplan informed the RCMP to cist and desist any activities involved with the communists encountering problems while trying to cross the Canada-United States border. It wasn’t until recently, that Kaplan was informed, by the Fifth Estate, that what his order actually meant and how it affected Canadian citizens for the better. The documentary can be seen here.

References:

Larsen, M. (2012). ATIP: CSIS lexicon. Security Practices-Red File. Kwantlen Polytechnique University.

McDonald Commission of Inquiry Concerning Certain Activities of the RCMP (1981)

Punch, M. (2009). Police Corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. New York, New York: Routledge

Sawatsky, J. (1980). Men in the Shadows—The RCMP Security Service,” Doubleday Canada, Toronto.

Security Intelligence Review Committee. (2010). Looking back: a case for security intelligence review in Canada.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Posted: March 7, 2013 by wrighter12 in RCMP Accountability and Oversight

Broken, undermined, mistreated, victimized. These may be descriptors of how many aboriginal woman have felt, and are still feeling, due to alleged abuse by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In a report released by the Human Rights Watch, many alleged accounts of assault (including sexual), threats, and abuse were compiled and collected. Human Rights Watch is an organization driven to protect the rights of those who are mistreated, abused, or otherwise neglected of their rights (Human Rights Watch, 2013). Representatives visited aboriginal communities in northern British Columbia, including “all linked to B.C.’s so-called “Highway of Tears,” where 18 women have disappeared over the past several decades” (CBC News, 2013), to investigate claims of mistreatment of aboriginal woman at the hands of the RCMP. Although the names of the woman as well as the officers being accused were not released in the report, the Human Rights Watch is calling for a provincial, as well as a national inquiry. In response the RCMP intends to investigate these allegations but stated they will require the names of the accusers as well as those accused in order to complete a full investigation into these claims. The response further details that formal complaints could have been made through the Commission of Public Complaints, who handle and investigate accusations such as these. The article and RCMP response can be found at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/02/12/bc-human-rights-watch-abuse-report.html

As many individuals encounter different articles that involve this report by the Human Rights Watch, a number of people can undoubtedly recall at least one, if not more accounts in which an RCMP officer is facing ‘heat’ surrounding deviant acts or abuse of power somewhere in Canada. Many videos have surfaced across news channels and have been posted on many websites to be viewed, with comments that push for officers to face consequences and sanctions for their actions. This has been a common theme among social media sites because most people would not want this abuse happening to them. Of course, after reading such horrible accusations against the RCMP I would think that large numbers of people would call for the support of this report and for the RCMP to face consequences. To my surprise, the comments in response to this article were seemingly the opposite of what I expected. Few comments seemed to actually support the report, while many stood behind ‘innocent until proven guilty’. The common theme that emerged were that this report is only making allegations against the RCMP, and without the release of the names of victims or those accused then these alleged acts will remain how they began, as allegations. Various comments notion that few do not represent the majority, and that a few ‘bad apples’ do not make up those who represent the RCMP with dignity, integrity, and respect to the communities they watch over. Allegations do not constitute criminal punishment.

In response to the article, as well as the comments I have read, I hold a very ‘Switzerland’ like stance or neutral stance. Yes, a common theme of police brutality has emerged throughout the years, calling for the punishment of these individuals. With this theme it is hard not to believe the number of allegations being made in regards to the treatment of aboriginal woman in northern BC. However, as many of the comments point out, this report contains allegations against the RCMP with no release of victims or those being accused. Yes, by all means collect and investigate these allegations, hopefully with the assistance of the Human Rights Watch and a list of the individuals involved. Nevertheless, the law does state ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

References:

RCMP accused of rape in report on B.C. aboriginal women. In the CBC News. Retrieved on march 5th, 2013 from

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/02/12/bc-human-rights-watch-abuse-report.html

Human Rights Watch. About Us. Retrieved on March 5th, 2013 from

http://www.hrw.org/about

This post is a response to the following article:

Oh No They Didn’t! (2013). Those Who Take Us Away, a Human Rights Watch report (TW) Mission, vision and values. Retrieved March 1, 2013 from http://ontd-political.livejournal.com/10445760.html

The article begins with the story of how Summer Star (C.J.) Fowler’s murdered body was found. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) mentions the statistics of how many indigenous women and girls have been murdered or gone missing since the 1960s. Based on the statistics international and national human rights authorities have advised that changes need to be made. However, the article notes that no such changes have been made by Canada. The article also summarizes some of the main points from the Human Rights Watch report ‘Those Who Take Us Away’. Not only have indigenous women and girls received little protection from the RCMP but they have also suffered abuse at the hands of the RCMP. Additionally, the report mentions the lack of accountability for police misconduct. This has led the Human Rights Watch to advise for a civilian led investigation of these cases to ensure accountability for the RCMP officers involved. Although, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), which is a provincial civilian led investigations office, has been created, their authority is limited to cases involving dead or serious bodily injury. The article concludes that clearly further measures are required.

The comments responding to this article are limited however, of the comments there are, the general consensus seems to be that what is going on is “utterly disgusting” and something needs to be done. A couple of the commenters are very disappointed in the governments’ lack of action, one commenter stating that “the government is essentially shrugging their shoulders” at the problem (ONTD, 2013). This very same commenter goes further and criticises the actions that have been taken by the government, “Wow, studies and tasks forces. Yeah, that’ll fix it” (ONTD, 2013). Additionally, another commenter is not surprised by the RCMP’s attitude towards indigenous women and girls, and suggests this attitude is not limited to the RCMP. This commenter mentions a “recent report on a serial killer in Vancouver who was ignored by police for years stated that it continued because the women were poor, indigenous, addicts and sex workers” (ONTD, 2013).

My response to this article would be that the Human Rights Watch is right, something needs to be done. Additionally, I do not understand why it is taking so long for the government to take action. The statistics mentioned by the NWAC demonstrate that this is a big problem and government action is needed. The government needs to look into why indigenous women and girls are not receiving protection from the RCMP as well as why the RCMP are the sources of abuse for these women. Reading the cases of abuse the indigenous women and girls suffered at the hands of the RCMP, I am disgusted especially since the RCMP is suppose to uphold the law not violate it. Part of the RCMP’s commitment to communities is to provide “unbiased and respectful treatment of all people” (RCMP). Do RCMP officers forget this when they interact with indigenous communities?

References

Oh No They Didn’t! (2013). Those Who Take Us Away, a Human Rights Watch report (TW) Mission, vision and values. Retrieved March 1, 2013 from http://ontd-political.livejournal.com/10445760.html.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2006). Mission, vision and values. Retrieved March 4, 2013 from
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/about-ausujet/mission-eng.htm.

Human Rights Watch

Posted: March 4, 2013 by karanjitdulay in RCMP Accountability and Oversight

           Human Rights Watch is a group that has been working for over 30 years, providing the protection of human rights all around the world (Human Rights Watch, 2013). The Human Rights Watch is a great way for providing the rights every citizen deserves. Recently an inquiry has taken place, this inquiry is looking into a series of disappearances and murders in B.C. The lack of investigations and initiation taken by the RCMP has raised many questions about the relationship between the indigenous communities and the RCMP (The Globe and Mail, 2013).  Also a number of women, who were interviewed, stated that they were mistreated when under custody. But an investigation could not be done because many of these women did not file any reports. There is no support and lack of care from the RCMP. The RCMP responded to these allegations by explaining how they are busy with 13 homicides and 5 cases of missing women in Prince George and Prince Rupert (The Globe and Mail. 2013). The RCMP seems to struggling with these allegations and is in a lot of scrutiny for their actions.

            Many people commented on this news article, many of the comments were very sarcastic. For example, one commenter wrote, “You don’t say?” another wrote, “Tell us something we don’t already know…” (The Globe and Mail, 2013). From reading these comments they don’t seem to be very surprised at all this has been happening. Many of these commenters already had a feeling this was happening before and it took the Human Rights Watch a very long time to figure it out. Most comments used the term dysfunctional as a term that was to broad, which wasn’t used correctly. One-person thought the term dysfunctional shouldn’t be used to compare the RCMP and the indigenous communities, rather calling the RCMP Organization dysfunctional due to their history. From reading these comments there is a consensus that many of these readers already had a clue that the RCMP and the Indian community had a bad relationship. Also there is a very large group of sarcastic comments about how there have been a lot of investigations about the RCMP now, when it should have been done a long time ago. Lastly the lack of care from the community is very overwhelming to read, some of the comments actually blame the Indian Community for the miss treatment. For example, “Natives want to be perpetual victims. Period. They have no desire to do anything else other that whine and complain about how everyone doesn’t kiss their a$$es.” (The Globe and Mail, 2013) The stupidity of some people disgusts me, for someone to even say something this dumb is mind-boggling. So the question arises why didn’t any of the people make a complaint or ask for a change? Also why do some people feel that the Indian community is to blame for the dysfunctional relationship between the Indian community and the RCMP?

My comment for this article is, “Why is the Human Rights Watch focusing on the RCMP now? There have been many cases of mistreatment in Canada by the organization why did it take so long for a research to be conducted? Also The RCMP is not dysfunctional just with one community, rather it is occurring in all types of communities and there needs to be something done before they can keep protecting us. Due to this dysfunctional organization many innocent people are being miss treated by the people who are supposed to be protecting them. By fixing these the dysfunction relationship not just with the Indian community but the whole community there can be a better social control in society.

Resources:

#1.

Human Rights Watch. (2013). ABOUT US. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from:

http://www.hrw.org/about

#2.

The Globe and Mail. (2013). MISSING WOMEN Human rights group says RCMP, native relationship ‘dysfunctional’. . Retrieved March 3, 2013, from:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/human-rights-group-says-rcmp-native-relationship-dysfunctional/article8572404/

Ready, Set, Neglect!

Posted: January 29, 2013 by wrighter12 in RCMP Accountability and Oversight

In a recent article produced by CBC News, some disturbing statistics were released in regards to police misconduct by our national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Although these statistics were seemingly impossible to request for and took a hefty amount of time to obtain, CBC News finally received their request after four long years. How could such a simple request take four years to be answered, especially by the agency representing our country?

A mere request for basic data ultimately turned into an investigation about how the RCMP was collecting their data about police misconduct, if they were doing any at all. A request for data on police misconduct between 2005 and 2008 took four years to collect after the files had to be created from scratch. One might think, “Hey isn’t the RCMP in charge of collecting data on crime across Canada?” This would be completely correct, yet a simple request for data within their own organization becomes troublesome to locate without having to create it from the beginning. Walter Kostekyj, an individual with prior experience as an RCMP officer said “It tells you there’s a serious problem in management”, and he continued to say “How would they measure their training? How would they measure who they’re selecting to be a police officer if they’re not keeping track of who it is they’re having problems with?” This also raises questions regarding which regions had the most misconduct by police? Which areas did the most severe forms of misconduct take place, as well as the least severe forms, and which officers were committing these acts? While these questions were left unanswered by the RCMP’s report, they did however provide the basic information about counts of police misconduct which can be found at:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/01/13/bc-rcmp-failed-to-track-mountie-misconduct.html

Another interesting and highly recommended page to view which takes a look at a list of internal allegations of the RCMP can be found at:

https://fusiontables.googleusercontent.com/fusiontables/embedviz?viz=GVIZ&t=TABLE&containerId=gviz_canvas&q=select+col0,+col1,+col2+from+1BK5KcWmvML7O_4ViyYXeVkEWKJzcF5MfZUfQI-Y

In regards to the three-level typology of police corruption as outlined in Maurice Punch’s text “Police Corruption”, the following article depicts different areas of these typologies surrounding the RCMP. Under the first typology by The Knapp Commission (1972), the term “Birds” could be used to describe the actions that took place because the fact that the RCMP neglected to keep tabs on police misconduct shows that many decided to ignore this and not report it until an outside organization decided to look at it, flying above the mess and not looking down at it. Looking at the second typology by Barker and Roebuck, the activities of the officers involved in the police misconduct fits under the category of “direct criminal activities” due to the fact that some forms of the misconduct would be a crime for any individual to do. A statement by Abe Townsend, who is a long time serving member of the force, read “members are being held accountable. Even when they’re off duty, officers are still subject to the code of conduct”. Finally within the third typology based on the levels of police deviance, one may argue the term “system failure” because the entire system lacks accountability with no way to hold individuals accountable if no statistics are being collected throughout the years. However, this may fit that part of the definition but does not fulfill the other portion which requires the entire system to be in crisis. From my view, I believe the level of police deviance to be externally driven, due to the pressure being exerted on the force by communities, regions, and Canada as a whole to uphold the high status of the national police force. This in turn may have directly or indirectly caused the lack of statistics regarding police misconduct by the RCMP.

References:

Punch, M. (2009). Police corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/01/13/bc-rcmp-failed-to-track-mountie-misconduct.html

Oversight and complaints mechanisms are an integral part of any policing organization.  Oversight is defined as an independent committee tasked with overseeing certain aspects of police actives that are considered deviant in nature.  These committees typically lack power to enforce their recommendations.  Complaint mechanism include a electronic submitted form, but is not limited too.  This form seems to focus more on identifying the complainant rather then the perceived deviant act of the officer[s].  The Commission is the main avenue for complaints against the RCMP.  A main theme with oversights and complaints commission is that they are divided into two intersecting faction: the police and the public.  The police are hesitant and often resistance to change brought upon by the oversight because they believe that they do not have the understanding nor the training to analysis the situation in question.  Many feel that they are the subject of undue discrimination brought upon by a community out for blood.

Oversights where born of a need to control the ‘bad apples’ of the police force.  Believing to have providence over them, the public tried to enforce sanctions and other restrictions.  But the police do not give these ‘suggestions’ any credence [unless followed by unrelenting public opinion, even then the public is told they are implement but in reality they are not enforced].  Essentially these services are a forum where the public can voice their opinions, call for alarm and other perceived idiosyncrasies.  These forums are believed to be the emissary of change and a bridge between the public and the police.

There is a cyclical ‘so what?’ question that permeates the discussion of oversight and complaints mechanisms.  The committees hold no real power, so what?  So what if there is no feeling of progress? There is no real forum for the police to voice their concern, so what?  So what if both sides are lost in egos and bureaucratic red-tape, so what?

Without power to enforce their recommendations the oversight is effectively lip-service.  This relates to no feeling of progress, spreading into sideways mobility.  This refers to the continued opening of inquires or committees to look into the problem and their only address of the systems and not the cause of the deviance.  The police also negotiate the offense down to a policy violation rather than a criminal offense.  The police cannot voice their concerns to any outside identity or even their superiors without fear of reprisal and breaking the blue wall of silence.  In the police line of work who they can trust is very important.  Even when not involved in deviance, those who go against the code [of conduct] whether block out in a handbook or verbally inscribed into new recruits, are viewed with suspicion and disdain.  Mainly untreatable.  This problem causes ripples within the unit and then the ranks and then the organization. At any point they can be on the receiving end of taunts, pranks and unaided calls for help.  Serpico, a prime example, went to the newspapers to report on his fellow brothers in blue for their involvement in deviant activities.  Their response?  To ignore his cries for back-up when raiding a drug house, he was shot in the face.  And because each side is trying to limit the power each has over the other, there is feelings of isolation and inadequacy.  This may lead in to blame-dodging in order to cover for this.

While on paper the oversight committees are worthwhile, they lack an important factor.  Power.  Power to implement change and power for the police to stem the tide of public blame.  As mentioned countless times they cannot implement any recommendations made by said committees.  The police feel that the public cannot properly understand what the job entails and thus are under-qualified to preside over their affairs.  This, in-part, is correct.  The general public has no understanding of the daily struggles of having to balance public interest, their own policies and the criminal code.  Not to mention various public appearances meant to stimulate the RCMP’s public image: musical ride and holding as a symbol of Canada to meet visiting dignitaries and diplomats.

There are three ways in which to make oversight mechanisms ‘work’.

First, giving them power to force change.  Once positive of this could be rising public confidence.  but this may also lead to an inflated self-ego and specialization through bureaucratization.  What I mean by this, because of their high specialization they would be the only ones with the resources to review police deviance and through this their reputation as the only ones with power to deal with the deviance with grow.  Dealing with an increased workload leads to growth thus hiring more people.  And through this not everyone will either be of the caliber the organization requires or susceptible to the invitation of a bribe.  Those wanting to implicate someone may bribe someone within the organization.  Specialization through bureaucratization means that through policies and other legalities they gain both power and a narrowed vision of what they encompass, leading to increased public and police isolation and distrust.  In short, are we not creating an environment in which we needed the oversight for the police?

The second, keeping the oversight the same.  It has already been established that the oversight cannot fully contextualize what they were originally created for.  Meaning they were meant as a vehicle of change, to oversee the police and deal with deviance, along with producing recommendations, policies and new legislation to prevent further deviance and to facilitate a more harmonious relationship with the public.  The police and the public both feel victimized and inadequate.  The advent of social media adds to this through repeated visualization of the event, sometimes edited to produce a particular result geared towards a certain side.

Third, is to tear down the existing structure and build anew.  To create a committee that is equal between the public, police and more importantly within the community.  I have some ideas about its creation.

For instance, its membership.  It should be temporary as to not become desensitize to the action it is investing and should be based off of voter registration and telephone directory to get a better cross-section of the community.  There should be an equal number of community members and the police.  Within the police, there will be a propionate number of upper, middle management and ‘beat’ cops.  As well as with the community should be reflective of all of its aspects.  This is so each side can explain their position on the issue and each can address concerns from their level of expertise.  Chairs will be in name only as there must be someone to control the meetings.  There will be open sharing of information between the both sides.  It will also be easier to compel the police.  Though sensitive information must remain within the committee.  As Chris Beach, who is an outreach and complaints analyst for the Commission, mentioned a shared data-base to make sure each side is sharing completely with one another.  Meetings of the oversight will not be public at first, to bolster the relationship between them and the police.Though later on, they may observe the happenings.  And like the Canadian court system, they will not be televised.  Andy discussion will be handed down through third parties like a public relations person, media or another organization.  As to waylay the force of questions directed towards them.  They would still be answerable to the public but this is to ensure that they can continue their proceedings without constant interruption.

As to whether these options ‘work’ is subjective.  Several people believe that the current oversight is workable while others have a variety of opinions.  Without major reorganization of the mechanisms implemented and a true cohesive/ collaborative relationship between these committees and the RCMP, there can be no progress.

Main themes include complaint form, RCMP security level, power and mistrust.

The formal complaints form found on the RCMP website allots more space to help identify the complainant rather than the incident.

Even though the RCMP lost the ability to investigate national security through the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, in 1985, but sixteen years later the Anti-Terrorism Act allowed for their greater involvement.

Power because both sides lack it.  Power to enforce and to develop an open relationship with the public because of their sanctioned use of deadly force.

This helps to spread mistrust because both sides cannot understand the others position and through the blue wall of silence there cannot be clear communication between them.