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"Time for RCMP to cleanse itself"

on Saturday, 07 July 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Times Colonist

he red-serge uniform of the RCMP used to represent the highest of standards in law enforcement. Now it might more be the blush of acute embarrassment.

T Worse, police force is becoming increasingly tarnished, severely the reputation of Canada's national shaking Canadians' confidence in those sworn to uphold law and order on our behalf. We don't need more inquiries, more reports, more vague promises about gradually changing the culture the RCMP needs to do a sharp about-face in ensuring its members adhere to the force's code of conduct, and to solid standards of ethical, moral behaviour.

It's disturbing enough that a Coquitlam RCMP corporal in regulation Mountie boots and a kilt would pose for photographs for posting on an Internet pornography site that features sexual degradation and violence toward women. It's more disturbing that the officer is still on the job.

When Cpl. Jim Brown's participation in pornography became public knowledge, Supt. Claude Wilcott, his commanding officer, said he consulted the force's legal services to see if Brown's actions violated the RCMP code of conduct.

He needs a lawyer to figure that out? Sadly, the legal opinion he received was that "it did not appear - to meet the threshold for a code-of-conduct violation." To Wilcott's credit, an investigation was launched, but this is a case where the officer should have been shown the door as soon as it was determined he was indeed the person in the photos.

Yes, a lawsuit might have followed, but the RCMP leadership should have shown some backbone and taken that risk. The vast majority of Canadians would have approved.

The RCMP Act includes a perfectly workable and reasonable set of standards for its members, in which it states, among other things, that it is incumbent on every member:

? to ensure that any improper or unlawful conduct of any member is not concealed or permitted to continue.

? to act at all times in a courteous, respectful and honourable manner; and

? to maintain the honour of the force and its principles and purposes.

That doesn't mean tossing an officer out the door for the slightest indiscretion police work is difficult, stressful and exacts a heavy toll. Compassion and understanding are needed when mistakes are made.

But this isn't one of those "oops" moments, a momentary lapse in judgment quickly regretted. Putting photos of oneself on a porn site that glorifies violence and bondage isn't an option for those sworn to uphold the law and protect citizens from violent criminals and perverts. ...

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