The very-public saga of West Vancouver PD Constable Lisa Alford has taken on a life of its own. The smug self-rightousness of the media in the way they have pursued this officer and the Police Department has been filled with their own unique brand of hypocrisy.
Alford was involved in an motor vehicle accident a year ago after consuming alcohol at a social event in the West Vancouver police station. Following the MVA, she was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
She accepted her responsibility at every step of the way. She pleaded guilty, ready to take whatever punishment was her due. She never sought, nor did the system offer, any slack or preferential treatment. She didn’t seek any “alternative measures,” adult diversion, a healing circle or claim it wasn’t her fault because, Boo-hoo-hoo, she wasn’t breast-fed as a child.
No, she made a bad error, admitted it and took her punishment like a man . . .well, so to speak.
Now the Chief Constable is being made to do a Mexican Hat Dance simply because the optics are bad. And, some smug, self-righteous commentators are actually calling for a “full independent inquiry. “
Damn the expense, Man! The cops were drinking!
Now, it needs to be said that the event was a social function and didn’t involve on-duty officers. But please, to suggest that we should have a “full independent public inquiry” because there was drinking going within the confines of a police station where many people have their offices and work? Oh please.
To what end? What might we learn from that? That the West Vancouver police sometimes hold parties in the station? Well the Chief has already confirmed that. I’ll let you in on something else too. The Vancouver Police have wet messes within their walls too. Lest you think the Mounties are pure, they too have wet messes in many of their facilities including E Division Headquarters. And oddly enough, police officers sometimes have a cocktail or two in those messes when one of their own is retiring or getting promoted. And I have been present when members of the media, lawyers, judges and yes, even the occasional politician were only too happy to partake of the cops’ hospitality.
I have been to a great many receptions at lawyers’ offices too. And, God knows, I have been in conferences in news rooms where a bottle of Scotch was pulled out of a desk drawer during the session.
Drinking isn’t illegal. Irresponsible drinking is. Constable Lisa Alford made a mistake and unlike much of society these days, she took responsibility for her actions and paid the consequences, putting a blemish on an otherwise pristine record. That should end the matter. And, like anyone else, she should be allowed to get on with her life.