Just to recoup the last few days or so. Mr. Kennedy (the Canadian independent ombudsman for federal police force) released his long awaited report on the death of Robert Dziekanski. I started writing about that horrible incident at the Vancouver airport about 2 years ago. In my first column on this subject published in a Polish language newspaper in Vancouver “takie życie” shortly after the killing of Dziekanski, I remember saying that it will change the way we view and understand the police forces and the use of tasers in Canada. I wrote that this is going to be the unintended grand testament of Robert Dziekanski. And for that reason alone his name will be forever etched in the annals of Canadian history. And I was right. Mr. Dziekanski’s tragic and entirely avoidable death at the hands of RCMP officers was a catalyst of change and new regulations. It was a catalyst of social distrust long brewing and coming to an eruption of general anger, disbelieve and disappointment of our society in the actions and conduct in formerly highly regarded force. We still wait for the full report and provincial government reaction of the judge Braidwood Inquiry in Vancouver. But that could be said without any ambiguity: the RCMP and local police forces has to change. They have to work very hard and diligently to regain the respect and trust of the public. And they have to do it under the watchful eye of an independent civilian body in the full view of the media and society at large.
Yest, it is a dangerous work, yes, they are risks that a lot of normal people would not want to take or assume. That is exactly why not everybody is a potential police officer. It takes not only knowledge and skill – it takes most of all a character and moral conviction. And surely a lot of it was lacking in the past 10 or 15 years in recruiting and training of our not so fine “finest”. It also showed us the lack of respect from the very top ranks. And I do strongly believe that the ‘top ranks’ should pay the ultimate price and resign or be removed. The ‘buck” stops somewhere. And usually it stops at the top.