Ex-Mountie says RCMP is a toxic workplace

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      Ex-Mountie Rob Creasser knows how bad the RCMP is as a workplace. He got sick because of it. In 2010, following almost three years of medical leave after he was diagnosed with depression, the Kamloops man quit the national police force.

      It doesn’t surprise him that allegations of persecution, including accounts of sexual harassment of female officers such as Cpl. Catherine Galliford, are in the news.

      “We have harassments—not just sexual harassment but harassment in general—that have not been dealt with in years,” Creasser told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview from Kamloops.

      The ex-constable doesn’t expect conditions to improve much. He said that unless RCMP members are represented by a union, many will continue to suffer from unchecked workplace mistreatment.

      It’s a situation that Creasser is helping to change. He is currently a spokesperson for the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, a group of frontline officers fighting for the right to collective bargaining in the federal force.

      The MPPAC is a merger between two Mountie organizations, the B.C. Mounted Police Professional Association and the Mounted Police Association of Ontario. In 2009, the two groups won a charter challenge before the Ontario Superior Court against RCMP regulations that prevent them from forming a union. The federal government appealed the decision.

      According to Creasser, the association expects a ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal sometime in the spring.

      “Overall, it’s dysfunctional,” Creasser said about the RCMP as a workplace. “At times, toxic.”

      The RCMP national headquarters in Ottawa refused a Straight request for an interview regarding the demand for a union. Spokesperson Cpl. David Falls said the organization will not comment on a matter that is pending before the courts.

      Workplace problems have been highlighted in reports such as the one prepared by David Brown in 2007. A former head of the Ontario Securities Commission, Brown called for sweeping organizational and cultural changes in the force.

      That same year saw the release of another study regarding the force. In that paper, organizational expert and author Linda Duxbury stated that the current RCMP culture does not support change.

      As a psychologist many police officers consult, Mike Webster has heard a lot of stories.

      In a phone interview, he said RCMP members don’t have the same avenue that municipal police officers have for their grievances, as the latter are represented by unions.

      “Police people are hard-driving problem solvers,” Webster noted. “And sometimes they step on each other’s toes, and these conflicts arise naturally. But in the municipal-police world, there’s a process to deal with them. In the RCMP, there’s no process. And these issues just go on and on and on.”

      Creasser explained that a union would also allow members to negotiate for better police resources to improve the RCMP’s service to the public. These include adequate manpower and equipment.

      “The model that we use to determine how many people should be policing, say, in Kamloops is at least 20 years out-of-date,” he said. “We don’t actually have the time to be actually proactive in our communities to try and prevent crime.”

      It’s a concern that Creasser knows well. In 2006, he was slapped with a gag order by his superiors. They wanted to keep him from raising questions about whether or not the force provided adequate protection to the four Mounties who were gunned down in a notorious shooting incident in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, in 2005.

      It was downhill for his career from that point on, Creasser said. He simply got tired of fighting. He became depressed.

      Creasser is certain that many active officers are having the same problems he encountered and getting sick because of it. “I can guarantee it,” he said.



      Crime Prevention?

      Feb 23, 2012 at 10:51am

      The police are sure good at covering it up. No crime happening here because the gate keepers don't let the criminals in as violence and rape to women is ignored. I just finished reading about a female officer who is fightening for her job because she had sex with her boss. It was her superior officer who set the conditions for relationship yet he got a couple days suspension while she faces losing her job. Talk about sexual harrassement then the RCMP are the crime as officers hatred of women makes it a toxic place to live.


      Feb 23, 2012 at 10:56am

      All the more reason Bill C30 must not pass. This is the outfit that would have carte blanche access to all of our private information...ugh. Police, as we well know, are accountable to no one. Have any of the officers who tazed and killed Robert Dziekański paid for that crime? Ditto for the VPD whose track record is abysmal, from failing to investigate Pickton, to beating up innocent civilians, to not controlling their police dogs whose violence has scarred children, to not protecting citizens and property during the Stanley Cup riots. The police are gung ho for the spy bill but frankly, citizens have no reason to trust the police not to abuse their authority, because even with all the laws in place, they do so on a daily basis.

      Kate R.

      Feb 23, 2012 at 6:41pm

      Everything you hear about the RCMP is true. The paramilitary force are accountable to no one, are all about their corporate image, do not give a shit about their members (or members' well-being), and rank & file usurps talent and credibility.

      My dad was a member from 1969-1981. Drug squad (Windsor) and Customs & Excise (Toronto). He left for all of the reasons you hear about: tired of the abuse, mismanagement, and being put through a psychological meat grinder.

      BTW: the force endorses drinking among its members. The former "O" Division headquarters (Jarvis/Dundas) in Toronto: had a private mess hall for members to drink, in private. "Be a man, and drink away your pain!"

      My dad died 5.5 years ago. An alcoholic (like many former and present members of the RCMP), he struggled with PTSD and depression for most of his 56 years. His blood alcohol level: 0.45. The RCMP were involved and made an "oopsie" the day he died.

      Superior is super horny, not bad

      Feb 23, 2012 at 7:19pm

      While female officer is inferior and the bad guy for not just laying down again. The female officer is the bad guy for saying she was coerced by her superior into having sex while her superior had no problem sticking it to her and the public while on the job. The officer openly admits to the sex with a subordinate while taking her out in police car. Is this all part of the training and what is the lesson being taught?
      And of course, wrong decision again because there is nothing superior about a man sticking it to a woman when he is her boss and on the job, nothing, not even a large dick. Even if your president your going down for the count, especially if the women says I wasn't into it even if she is married. The police are not solving their internal problems because it isn't viewed as a problem to politicians who fight to keep the costs of crime down by trying to ignore it while building a police force that is tolerant of certain crimes and women are an easy target.


      Feb 23, 2012 at 9:57pm

      The trouble is there is no accountability because how can you trust Police to police themselves? Galliford said" There's No one to turn to in the RCMP or anywhere to go" How about the pipeline bombing awhile back that RCMP and CSIS were investigating. Well it turned out that the RCMP bombed the bloody pipeline themselves. What are they trying to do? Turn Canada into a police state? Incite Martial Law? Now trying to Pass Bill C-30 which would give them total power over the people which translates into a Nazi State, Fascist dictatorship. They can't even control the power they have now for godsakes! Look up Jim Townsend on Youtube he has some Facts and personal stories to tell everyone about the RCMP. I've met a few RCMP officers and some are trying to make a difference but a few higher ups make it hell for them. How can we trust a dysfunctional organization to Serve and Protect us? They can even protect themselves only the ones who are hiding something and are higher up in the Force can cover their own butts. The only way for the system to improve is if honest RCMP officers arrest the corrupt higher ups, captains etc and clean house.


      Feb 23, 2012 at 11:21pm

      Police+BC Mental Health Act Section 28(1)+removal of rights and clothing+forced medication (anti-psychotics)+no call to lawyer if deemed incapable of using a phone+no call to family=One hell of a corrupt state!
      Watch "Smear Campaign Canada" a You Tube video by broadpowers.


      Feb 24, 2012 at 2:13am

      It is high time the RCMP were permitted to unionize. As it now stands "grievances" are kept internal. If the RCMP were unionized and able to grieve via their union, as do other government workers, their grievances would have to proceed on a time table set out in their collective agreement and their grievances would eventually be heard by an independant adjuciator, not a bunch of men from inside the RCMP.

      A union would also be able to expose the senior RCMP who are currently covering up just about everything they can. Currently an RCMP officer could be fired for going public but if they were unionized their union would be representing them in exposing "problems".

      the Canadian consitution gives workers the right to unionize, right to associate. Why would the government violate the RCMP workers' rights? It certainly hasn't been a problem in cities which all have unionized police forces. I don't expect the current Conservative government to give the RCMP the right to unionize, they need them to implement all their grand schemes to deprive the rest of us of our rights and privacy.

      Eventually the RCMP will once again have a difficult time recruiting new officers and then bring in unsuitable individuals.

      what if?

      Feb 24, 2012 at 12:01pm

      The officer said she was raped and forced into a relationship. The panel has decided she is a liar and needs medical attention. What if the panel was bias in their decision making? Doesn't that make BC a unsafe place to live as superiors get away with rape while on the job. The panel has no proof this didn't happen except the word of the officer who was her boss and he is okay with it and some emails of a sexual nature. It sounds as she is being punished for making the allegations. That is what the panel said. Surveillance officers in Alberta set female officers up and then raped them on the job as several female officers come forward with the same complaint. Same old thing just happened. He gets a raise and promotions and the women are ignored as dirty old men at the top create a toxic work place.


      Feb 24, 2012 at 6:07pm

      Well, I am a member with a respectful amount of service. When I first joined the RCMP I joined because I believed in justice, fairness, truth and helping people. Wasn't long after that I learned that I was in the wrong profession.
      I was burnt out after working years of shifts that were short of manpower. Our bosses refuse to call an extra member out on overtime because they don't want to spend the $. Instead they say they will "risk it out". That is a common term used in the RCMP. It means they are willing to take chances on a members' life and place the public in jeopardy. Good for them, I'm sure it helps get a promotion for someone. Members go to work knowing they are working in an unsafe environment. What do you think that sort of treatment tells it's membership? That we are NOT worthy of being safe. We are not cared for by our employer yet we do our job to the best of our ability with little complaint. Until we burn out...and no one notices that, they assume you just got lazy. The RCMP is an assuming bunch. Our employer makes a tough job ever tougher and more stressful.
      As far as the RCMP act goes, that's a Kangaroo court. They make the rules and they break them all according to how they want it to turn out. They manipulate and control. That is all they know. And they do NOT want outsiders telling them how to do their business.
      The RCMP Act prevents members from talking publicly about the RCMP. What about our RIGHTS and FREEDOMS? Members do NOT have RIGHTS as long as they are employed (aka owned) by the RCMP. Period.


      Feb 24, 2012 at 6:26pm

      Mr Creaser is right in everything he says. I too got sick because of my job. Abused alcohol, depression, severe PTSD, etc, with NO help from my employer. They used me up and then discarded me like a dirty kleenex. I gave 100% of my heart and soul to my job, and I was good at it. I loved dealing with the public and I loved helping people. And that showed in my yearly work assessments. But after too many years of working in a toxic environment with absolutely NO support I crashed and burned. I am very angry and bitter at my employer for mistreating me. I feel used. They saw me giving my all but they wanted more more more because there aren't enough members to do the work. No one ever asked me after coming from a bloody scene if I was okay. Not once. All I heard was "hurry up, get in your car, there are other calls waiting for you to attend". It is a thankless job and it comes with the added bonus of having to deal with a lot of pain and suffering to boot. No debriefings, no support. The RCMP doesn't even acknowledge occupational stressors such as PTSD. The public would be shocked to know how we get treated. The RCMP takes better care of it's cars and equipment than it does it's people. We are supposed to be machines. We are not supposed to feel. If we do we are looked down upon as being weak. The RCMP does not educate its' members on occupational stresses. I had severe PTSD for years and I didn't even know it! I had to crash and burn before I knew what was wrong with me. By then it was too late. The RCMP was hungrily disciplining me and dismissing me without ever trying to help me. They used me and then they threw me away. I am a very bitter person because of this. My career is gone, my future hopes and dreams are gone, my reputation is gone, my life was almost gone. I almost died. So Mr Creaser, thank you for speaking out for the members who are NOT ALLOWED to speak. It's the RCMP's "dirty little secret". But now it's out and I am so happy they have been uncovered...forced out from under their rock to face the world. They need to answer to many. They need to take their own advice...one of the core values of the RCMP, being ACCOUNTABLE.