The RCMP has hit outspoken police psychologist Mike Webster with a double tap.
First, it filed a formal complaint against Webster before the College of Psychologists of British Columbia.Secondly, the national police force terminated his counselling services.
Insp. Maxine Schwartz, officer in charge of the RCMP’s Vancouver-based E Division Occupational Health & Safety, informed Webster about these actions in a letter dated August 1, 2012.
Webster has spoken critically about the RCMP, calling it a "sick" organization needing major reforms before it destroys itself.
In 2008, he testified before a commission of inquiry that looked into the deadly encounter between Robert Dziekanski and four RCMP officers at the Vancouver International Airport that saw the newly arrived Polish immigrant zapped repeatedly by a Taser.
“I am embarrassed to be associated with organizations that taser sick old men in hospital beds and confused immigrants arriving to the country. Frankly I find it embarrassing,” Webster declared at the inquiry.
In previous interviews, he highlighted the need to stop the RCMP from doing contract police work in provinces, territories, and municipalities. He wants the force to focus instead on federal law enforcement, just like the FBI in the U.S.
Webster also favours the formation of a labour union in the RCMP. According to him, the force is a toxic workplace.
The Victoria native has worked with and acted as a consultant to various police forces in Canada and abroad for over 30 years. He is a specialist in crisis management. He is also an expert on matters relating to the application of force.
In Schwartz’s letter to Webster, the police inspector told the psychologist that the force filed a complaint against him before the College of Psychologists “based on our repeated observations you have not maintained a consistent focus on the clinical needs of your RCMP clients”.
“Instead, your focus tends to be on the need for the RCMP to change organizationally,” Schwartz wrote.
The police officer also told Webster’s “lack of objectivity in both your clinical work and public commentary towards the RCMP have weakened your effectiveness in treating your RCMP client base".
Hence, the RCMP is “terminating funding for your services immediately”.
According to the letter, Webster can continue treating some of his existing clients. However, Schwartz wrote that “all transitional treatment” must be completed by October 30, 2012. “The RCMP will not fund any treatment that you provide beyond this date,” the officer wrote.