Standing up for what is right

The media have adopted the Police Complaints Commissioner's report (Blue Curtain: VPD has fostered 'culture of resistance' -- critics) as their new cause clebre. Unfortunately, Vancouver Police Constable Jamie Graham has yet to come out and call it for what it is - a hysterical piece of nonsense. So, I will.For whatever reason, the Vancouver media seem to think the so-called Pivot Legal Society has a shred of credibility. They don't. The fifty or so wild allegations made by them have been roundly and soundly refuted by numerous police investigations including the investigation by the RCMP that the commissioner, Dirk Ryneveld, uses as the basis for his accusations.In reality, the RCMP investigation report said it had a problem with nine of the complaints in that there were procedural issues and a possibility of a lack of co-operation on the behalf of some VPD members, not that any of the complaints were substianted. That was it. And that seems to be what has Ryneveld in high dudgeon. And I say "so what?"Right from the get go, it was obvious the Pivot accusations of kidnapping and torture were so much hyperbole that no thinking person should have taken them seriously. But the media did and for whatever reason, apparently still do.The Vancvouver Sun in its story linked above, takes great pains to regurgitate cases that have already been resolved and judged appropriate behaviour such as the so-called 'Riot at the Hyatt' and the Jeff Berg case. Were they so short on...

Talkin’ Shop

Interesting to see that the Chiefs are meeting in Calgary at their annual knees-up and bun toss hosted this year by Jack Beaton. Even more interesting is the CBC story headlined on Prime Time Crime saying a significant topic of discussion will be how to stay out of trouble. ( Police chiefs meet to talk controversy)Considering the morass Calgary Chief Beaton has immersed himself in this last year or so, one hopes he attends all the seminars and pays special attention to the speakers. But, in the event he dosen't, allow me to provide some free advice.If a bunch of serving members file lawsuits against another, senior police officer alleging fraud and other criminal offences, take it seriously, investigate the matter thoroughly and in the interest of protecting the police department's public image, place the officer under the cloud of suspicion on suspension until the matter has been dealt with and the officer has either cleared his or her name or the matter has been proven.This simple piece of advice also extends to other allegations like racism practiced by senior officers to subordinate staff. Or, for example, if another senior officer points a gun at a subordinate officer, don't try and sweep the incident under a rug. I know this sounds basic, but Beaton's history in the top chair seems to have missed some of these more rudimentary points.Oh yeah, there's another simple way of keeping out of harm's way for a senior police manager - tell the truth....

Plus ca change

"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." - Ronald ReaganLike many of you I was glued to a TV during the vote in the House of Commons today to see if it might actually be possible to topple the most corrupt government this country has ever seen. And, just for the record, I include the BC NDP Glen Clark government in the '90s, in the analysis prior to making that statement.But, at the end of the day, the Prime Minister Paul Martin suceeded, after doing everything in his Faustian gymnastics to cling to the reins of power. And I, like many of you, had to work to stifle the gag reflex as I watched Chuck Cadman do the unthinkable.Now, let me say at this point that I have a tremendous amount of respect for Chuck Cadman. And, I don't say for a moment that he succumbed to any amount of bribing from the desparate Liberals. But, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he turned his back on doing the right thing for this country.At least Cadman can claim the higher ground in doing what he did by claiming he followed the wishes of his constituents. It is not the case for the rest involved in the travesty foisted upon this country.Whether we are talking about the shameless budget change to the tune of over $4 billion to buy...

Another good cop held down

You're kidding me! What, is the Winnipeg Chief Constable taking lessons from Calgary's Jack Beaton? The story headlined on Prime Time Crime about the Staff Sergeant going from hero to zero for not telling some biker schmuck that some other schmuck said someone wanted him dead is another example of an out of touch chief making what appears to be a knee-jerk decision to avoid criticism and instead inviting more. Unfortunately, he seems to have hurt a good cop in the process.Does Jack Ewatski actually expect that every time a cop hears some asshole in custody blows his mouth off about so and so "is a marked man" or "he's gonna get it" or whatever nonsense comes out of their flapping gums, that the investigator has to go running to the guy and tell him what the jagoff said? Give me a break. What's with chiefs named Jack? Quite apart from anything else, bikers, wannabee gangsters, wiseguys and pretty much anyone else involved in organized crime knows that somebody wants to kill them and pretty much, sooner or later, someone will. Or they spend they waning days in jail. It goes with the territory. And frankly, society doesn't miss them when they get whacked from this mortal coil. So, why destroy a good cop's career over something like this? Unless there's a lot more than meets the eye in what has been published in the media on this file, the Winnipeg Chief is doing a disservice to not only...

The bath is getting crowded

Well, as witch hunts go, Calgary Chief Jack Beaton certainly doesn't hold back. The story headlined on Prime Time Crime's front page today, Chief won't give up the hunt demonstrates just how out of control he is.Is it possible he does not realize that by his actions he is proving the Standfirm group were accurate in their assessment? They talked about bullying and retribution and failing to adhere to the Core Principles espoused, but apparently not practiced by this chief. I was in Calgary yesterday and had to covertly meet with a couple of Calgary cops. They described a climate of fear pervading the department. Members are trying to burn off lieu time hours, taking days off, calling in sick, leaving early and generally doing anything to avoid the Beaton freight train. Said one officer, "Paranoia is running rampant in HQ with many trying to avoid the Chief and his deputies at all costs. " And it didn't stop there. "The climate of fear and terror in CPS is enormous. I've never seen anything like it in my life!" And why? Because Beaton can't take criticism that certainly appears to have been well-founded. And, he is proving every day just how accurate that criticism was.And what's with the President of the Calgary Police Association? Let's take a look at the quote attributed to him in the Global stoy. Here's the quote:"There appeared to be about 15 people that were regular contributors," says Koenig. "Now, 15 people out of 2,200...

What’s up Jack?

"A real leader faces the music even when he doesn't like the tune."- Anon.I really don't get it.Calgary's Chief Constable, Jack Beaton, has acted like a petulant schoolboy right from square one in his dogged pursuit of those behind the websites critical of his administration. And even in his hollow victory first announced in this space on Friday, when his pressure tactics finally caused webmistress Jann Vahey to capitulate and make a deal to get out from underneath the potential financial ruin a battle against City Hall might necessitate, he issued a press release saying he wasn't done yet. The witchhunt apparently, is far from over.In the intervening days, a police constable, Taufiq Shah, has come forward and admitted that he delivered the offending criticisms published by Vahey and in doing so, painted a huge target on his back for a vindictive Chief. Shah has filed previous complaints against a patrol Sergeant and the Chief for failing to appropriately investigate the matter. He has been on stress leave for far too long as a result. He doesn't want to be, but what choice does he have?He was subject to racist taunts, called things like "terrorist" and "sand nigger." He even had a service weapon pointed directly at him by a superior officer, I'm told, in the parade room of the station. One hardly wonders why he might not feel entirely comfortable with strapping on a nine mil and going through a door hoping his sergeant has his back.Shah has...

Comments

I do apologize folks, but some anti-cop jerk who had plagued the previous Forum has reared his ugly and stupid head again. Ergo, I had to delete the comments on the "A deal done" post. For those of you who had well-thought comments to add, I apologize. If the cop hater continues to intrude on this site, he can expect a harassment complaint filed with the police and a subsequent lawsuit. He knows I know who he is. There are any number of websites and boards that are run by the sort of people who share his views. This is not one of them.Leo Knightleo@primetimecrime.com

A deal done

Today StandFirm webmistress Jann Vahey signed off on a negotiated deal to end the civil action taken against her by Calgary police chief Jack Beaton. Essentially, she signed a letter apologizing the the members of the Calgary Police Service if anything said on the original Stand Firm website offended anyone.Later this afternoon, media lawyers successfully argued the case for unsealing the Anton Piller order and related documents. The "gag" order on Vahey has also been lifted and she is now able to speak to the media. I have also learned that she will be seeking further investigation into the allegations of racism, cronyism and other matters she had been airing on the internet. Vahey is also seeking an audience with Alberta Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko with a view, she says, to generating interest in a public inquiry.Vahey says she was pressured into signing the deal because there was a fixed time line to have the deal done of noon today, two hours before the hearing began to unseal the file. She may call it pressured, but to me it sounds a little more like blackmail. Any "do this or else" has that connotation.And in the end it was the "or else" that forced Vahey's to acquiesce. She could have fought the chief and his ham-fisted ways but the legal bill to do so would have forced her into the poor house. No such bother for Beaton though, not with the good citizens of Calgary funding his vendetta. Not opened...

Using a sledgehammer to swat a Gnat

With the gag orders in place it is hard to get any information on what is happening with the outrageous action by Chief Jack Beaton in searching and seizing a computer from Jann Vahey who ran a website critical of his management. Even normally loquaicious lawyers are behaving like Trappist monks. However, if one diligently keeps one's ear to the ground, it is usually possible to at least get a glimpse into the situation. It is after all, a police department and cops do like to talk. With the pressure from the media heating up, including a lead editorial in the National Post headlined Calgary's Strongman, my sources tell me a move is afoot from within the Police Commission to get Jack to put this matter to bed. And promptly too, I'm told. The black eye the Service is getting arising from this sordid affair, is getting darker with each media hit. Negotiations are apparently ongoing, with Beaton pushing for a quick closure and admission of wrongdoing by way of an apology to the Service at large. Considering Vahey was defending the Police Service from the ham-fisted management of Beaton, that is rich indeed. I also believe, though I can't get anyone to confirm it with all the respective gag orders in place, that Beaton has demanded Vahey appear before a select group of police officers and answer their questions. If I were Vahey, I sure as hell wouldn't do it. A bunch of Beaton...

And on it goes

In the days since I first reported on the Calgary Chief Constable's outrageous use of the civil courts to stifle criticism of his administration, the mainstream media seem to have gotten the whiff of scandal in their nose. Broadcast media stories have appeared on Calgary's A Channel and CBC as well as the CBC National has picked it up. Conspicuous in their absence on this story is the Calgary Sun and Global TV. In the interim, the Chief has come out of hiding and given an interview to CBC's Rick Boguski in which he said he was just trying to protect the morale of the police service. Really? If that was his aim, then why won't he lift the stifling traffic ticket quota of 20 "stats" per month off the patrol division? Because I can tell you that one thing has got the rank and file perpetually angry at the management of the CPS. But that is such a small thing really. Unless of course, you are on the receiving end of a cheap ticket issued so a patrol officer doesn't get "negative attention" from his supervisor. But there's so much more affecting morale in the Calgary Police Service that using that as the driving factor for attacking the publisher of a website critical of the Chief is laughable. This whole sordid chapter in the history of the once-proud force would be laughable were it not such a serious...