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5.21.2009

They go to war with us each day

Wow, an unusually frank assessment (and sort-of apology) of the RCMP's handling of the death of Robert Dziekanski by psychologist Dr. Mike Webster. Webster, who has been "associated with the RCMP for more than three decades", says:

``Unfortunately, the long history and rich tradition of the Force manifests itself today as arrogance and defensiveness.''

``They view themselves as somehow apart from the rest of us, an elite group whose safety is more important than that of the most unfortunate among us.''

``We have become the `enemy' and they go to `war' with us each day, rather than collaborating with us to form a cohesive and consistent approach to policing our communities.''

``Unfortunately the idea of intimidating people is entirely consistent with the RCMP management's way of managing conflict not only with the public but also with its own membership.''

``This statement reflects a profound misunderstanding and lack of respect for the application of force to vulnerable groups and those in crisis.''

He calls the belief that the RCMP can investigate itself ``psychologically unsophisticated,''

``I wish I could tell you that the issues I raised here, and many others, that are rotting the RCMP from the top down will soon be changing.''

``I won't do that as the RCMP is in need of significant transformational change in order to genuinely reconnect with the public and its own membership.''


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