Canadians are known worldwide for being fair and kind. That reputation is generally deserved and reflected all across Canada. So why doesn’t that fairness and kindness extend to police officers?
A Smile and A Wave Go Miles
Many Canadians support the police and understand the important work they do. For those that do, we hope you will show them your appreciation. Thank local RCMP Members. Wave to them. Even just a smile means a lot. When dealing with people in crisis day in and day out — some of whom are having the worst days of their lives — a smile or kind word from a stranger can be the highlight of a police officer’s day. For those who don’t agree, and don’t appreciate police, these hard-working and highly trained women and men will still come and help you when you call 911.
These brave men and women who serve your communities wholeheartedly deserve our thanks, and at the very least, our respect.
Flip The Script and Change the Narrative
A sad and unfair example of targeting police is playing out today in the northern British Columbia community of Prince George following historical and unconfirmed allegations of improper conduct by former RCMP Members, currently under investigation. To be clear, the alleged actions are reprehensible and undefendable if found true, and those responsible should face appropriate and serious consequences.
However, a too-common narrative right now, rather than waiting for a thorough and transparent investigation or facts, is to judge and vilify all Prince George RCMP officers in a court of public opinion. This not only hurts these RCMP Members and their families, but others ultimately lose respect for police and community safety is put at risk.
NPF Pacific/North Region Director and RCMP Member Chris Voller outlined this, and more, in a letter to the editor of the Prince George Citizen in March 2023.
No Guarantees to Get Home Safe in Policing
In early March 2023, two police officers were murdered in Edmonton, doing exactly what Prince George Members do every day: showing up to a call where someone needs help, putting their life on the line. In the last three months of 2022, five police officers were murdered. They all showed up for their shift that day; all went out to serve their community. All five did not make it home.
Prince George RCMP Members leave their children, wives, husbands, partners, showing up each day to protect people in your community. Their goal, a goal that no other profession faces, is to not be murdered on their shift and to come home to their family. Yes, there are other dangerous jobs: firefighting, logging, underwater welders among many. But they are not being purposefully murdered.
The brave and hardworking women and men of the Prince George RCMP understand these risks, and yet continue to show up every day. But they’ve been the subject of presumptive headlines, irate phone calls, name-calling on the street, and other abuse.
Police are people, too. They have feelings, hearts, and care deeply about others. Deeply enough to keep showing up to serve in difficult circumstances.