This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Monday, March 25, 2013
SERIOUS CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT OF OUR REGIONAL POLICE IS LONG OVERDUE
Back on February 7, here in the Waterloo Region Advocate, I suggested that our civilian police boards lacked backbone, transparency and even legitimacy. Who the heck are they, who appoints them, are they mere rubber stamps and how good is their gig. In other words are they paid well enough to keep their heads down and take direction from the nominal authorities. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record has a front page story titled "Police board's role debated in wake of controversial report". That story answers an awful lot of my questions which is good. What is less good however are the answers themselves. Who are they can be answered with the words cronys, buddies and or fellow travellors. This is allegedly a "civilian" police oversight board. Ha, not a chance. I recognize three of the names as current full time, well paid, professional politicians. A fourth name, namely Kim Denouden is either a past or present North Dumfries politician (Mayor?). This is four out of the seven. Then we have a recently retired Peter Ringrose who worked at the pleasure of the Region of Waterloo as head of Family and Childrens' Services for many years. Earth to professional politicians. This is NOT "civilian" oversight. The other two members are provincial appointees and I'm pretty sure I recognize both their names as well. I may just have to google them to confirm that they have either political ties or loyalty ties to our local power structure.
How good is their gig? Well on the face of it they only earn $10,484 per year. How much effort is required for that sum? Apparently once a month they meet at regional police headquarters for a chat. If they do this ten to eleven months out of twelve ie. off for Christmas and maybe for a summer vacation; then they are making in the vicinity of $1,000 per meeting. If it's a two hour meeting then they are making $500 per hour. Not bad and a generous plum for the worthy only.
Are they mere rubber stamps. The answer is unequivocally yes. By their own admission they aren't interested in getting into the meat and potatoes of police operational activity. They peruse the annual police budget. They do not ask serious or penetrating questions of the police chief. They do not even exercise some moral authority in regards to the ongoing and apparently never ending police scandals involving officers getting in trouble either on or off the job. They do not give overall community direction to the Chief and let him know what is and isn't acceptable to the community.
This is exactly what our regional politicians want. They have a pretend "civilian oversight" that satisfies the rules but in reality does nothing. It is clearly appointed by either regional politicians or Chair Seiling on his own and he (they) have made sure it is a friendly board.