Call for fundamental change toward a provincially-mandated police force

To the editor:

To the editor:

I was encouraged when I read about the complaint filed by the BC Civil Liberties Association regarding the local RCMP attempt to vilify Buddy Tavares with no proof he had committed any crime, particularly domestic abuse. (Civil Liberties Questioning RCMP Conduct, Jan. 26 Capital News.)

Some of us have been paying attention for many years to the whitewashing of wrong-doing by the RCMP, who continue to deny the need for civilian oversight.

We have had our hopes dashed over and over again that Canada’s federal police force would show some signs of resetting its focus back to upholding the law and protecting the public from the current practice of protection of their institution at the expense of the public—much like we have seen in the Catholic Church.

The following is wording from the RCMP website:

“Commitment To Our Communities

• Unbiased and respectful treatment of all people

• Mutual problem solving

• Enhancement of public safety

• Open and honest communication

• Quality and timely service

• Accountability

• Cultural sensitivity

• Partnerships and consultation

• Effective and efficient use of resources.”

So many of these laudable objectives appear to be nothing more than words on paper with no meaning to those in command. I see no indication this will change anytime in the near future so I am hopeful the B.C. public will now pressure our politicians, who are in election mode, to commit to establishment of a provincial police force. At least with policing under provincial jurisdiction the public has a better chance of influencing the standards we expect to be upheld.

The RCMP has had ample opportunity to show us they can and do intend to honor these commitments but have chosen not to. Now is the time for B.C. voters to demand change, in the name of public safety.

Donna Campbell

West Kelowna

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