EDITORIAL: Another bad RCMP move

There has been much outrage over the RCMP decision to ship a Mountie who abused his position as head of a polygraph unit in Edmonton to B.C.

There has been much outrage over the RCMP decision to ship a Mountie who abused his position as head of a polygraph unit in Edmonton to B.C.

Don Ray exposed himself, had sex with subordinates, and kept a well-stocked liquor cabinet in his crime lab.

His punishment for all of this was to be demoted to sergeant from staff-sergeant, lose 10 days pay and come to B.C.

From a public relations perspective, it was like spraying a wasp nest with insect repellent – in the middle of the day.

The B.C. public is extremely cynical about the RCMP (as an organization) right now. This is the result of a number of incidents.

The most notable ones are the widespread perception that some men within the RCMP systematically harass female members and civilian workers; the Tasering death of a confused Polish man at the Vancouver Airport; the Mountie who left the scene of a fatal accident and fortified himself with vodka; and the shooting death of an unarmed prisoner at the Houston police detachment.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, who has taken over as the top Mountie in B.C., says things will change – but this transfer tells people that things aren’t changing. Coming on the heels of renewal of the RCMP contract in B.C. for a 20-year period, it’s too much for many.

The vast majority of Mounties are upright, honest people whose devotion to the force’s goal “to serve and protect” is obvious.

It would be hard to believe that most of them aren’t as disgusted with the decision in regard to Ray as the rest of us are.

It’s even harder to imagine that the RCMP brass who made the decision didn’t see the terrible public optics.

– Black Press