B.C.'s top cop calls for public oversight of RCMP
Published Saturday, January 30, 2010 6:40PM PST
B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed says corruption within the ranks of the RCMP has to stop, and that the Mounties should have to answer to the public.
With cases like the Taser-related death of Robert Dziekanski, the shooting of Ian Bush and the recent Surrey Six scandal eroding public confidence in the RCMP, Heed says it's time for the national police force to stop investigating itself.
"What's critical in the contract we sign with the RCMP is that we have sufficient accountability," Heed said Saturday.
Heed said the Mounties should answer to a civilian body just like B.C.'s 11 municipal police forces do under the province's Police Act.
"We think a consistent process across the province for any police officer, regardless of the colour of the uniform, is what we need," Heed said.
And the B.C. RCMP's assistant commissioner Al Macintyre agrees.
"We're for it," Macintyre said. "We've said it publicly."
But some critics feel even the Police Act doesn't go far enough.
Rob Gordon, director of criminology at Simon Fraser University, says it may be time for an independent anti-corruption task force.
"To deal with entrenched corruption, which can come very quickly, especially in jurisdictions where a lot of money is at stake, to deal with that you need dedicated units that are looking out for this."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger