NEWS

B.C. Mountie Blasts RCMP Commissioner

08/14/2012 03:08 EDT | Updated 10/14/2012 05:12 EDT
CP/Sean Kilpatrick
A Mountie in North Vancouver has come out swinging against RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, criticizing his recent email response to concerns raised by another B.C. Mountie.

In a scathing letter, 32-year RCMP veteran Peter Kennedy takes aim at Paulson and questions his ability to bring about real change within the national police force.

"You do a good interview on television and say all the right things. But words will not help this organization in any way — never have and never will," Kennedy writes.

"At this time, I do not have very much respect for your actions. You are, at this point, a man of words only. Your words are falling on deaf ears, commissioner."

In an email to CBC News Wednesday, Paulson said he was "not sure what to make of this [Constable] Kennedy."

"Clearly he is unhappy. I think a lot of our members are feeling the stress of change and adapting," Paulson wrote in the email to CBC News Network's Power & Politics host Evan Solomon. "One of my tasks is to make sure [Mounties] have all the information and tools available to get on board. It's their job to understand and implement the change.

"Most will succeed, some will find it difficult, some will resist," Paulson wrote.

Last week, CBC News obtained an email exchange between Paulson and Staff Sgt. Tim Chad, who wrote that trust is missing between officers and senior managers.

Paulson — who was promoted to commissioner late last year and pledged to transform the RCMP to restore morale within the force — responded by suggesting Chad is "living under a rock" if he thinks that the RCMP does not require an "all hands on deck" approach to restoring the public's trust.

In his email to Power & Politics Wednesday, Paulson said he stands by his commments to Chad.

"My email speaks for itself," Paulson wrote.

'Aggressive, insulting, arrogant'

In his letter to Paulson, Kennedy writes that Chad’s opinion is "shared by many thousands" and warns the commissioner not to ignore his critics.

"I find your reply to [Chad] aggressive, insulting, arrogant, condescending and immature," Kennedy writes, adding that Chad was just "asking for a little understanding and help."

Kennedy goes on to criticize RCMP management, saying top brass "keeps on failing with a big fat F."

"There is a lot more than sexual harassment happening in this organization," Kennedy writes.

"There is bullying, intimidation, exclusion, veiled threats and more. The RCMP is slowly eroding because of management’s refusal to admit failure, or even step up to the proverbial plate."

'The tip of the iceberg'

Kennedy adds that few of the supervisors he’s worked for over the years merit the respect they expect from front-line police officers.

"I am proud to be a law enforcement officer but not proud to be a member of the RCMP … and this saddens me deeply," he writes.

"As an organization, we can no longer hide, or make excuses for, our bad behaviour. We are no longer the image on the post card purchased by tourists. This is just the tip of the iceberg."

Kennedy signs his letter, "A very proud police officer. A very disillusioned member of the RCMP."

Paulson said Wednesday that it is "not ideal" to have the RCMP's internal disputes play out in the media.

"For every email from the likes of [Constable] Kennedy I get a pile of supportive — 'it's about time' — messages," Paulson wrote.

Kennedy's letter is the latest in a slew of complaints against the RCMP, from allegations of sexual harassment to claims of bullying and intimidation.

The RCMP is facing a number of lawsuits from women who allege they were subject to harassment and bullying on the job, including a class-action suit filed by hundreds of current and former Mounties.