|RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)
VANCOUVER – A North Vancouver Mountie has stuck out his neck and blasted his Ottawa boss, accusing RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson of being more worried about bad press than his front-line officers.
In a scathing letter obtained by QMI Agency, force veteran Peter Kennedy cites “a lack of leadership” by management who have no respect for their officers down the ladder.
He says sexual harassment, bullying, intimidation, exclusion and veiled threats throughout the organization are “eroding the RCMP” because management refuses to admit failure, or “step up to the proverbial plate.”
“I have to tell you that I have a hard time respecting a person that is only appears to be worried about themselves or trying to protecting (sic) an image,” wrote Kennedy, a 32-year member of the force.
“You are worried about bad press. Get used to it. There is a lot more coming your way. Do you really think that it will get better while you are at the helm?”
Kennedy’s letter came on the heels of an e-mail exchange between Paulson and Staff. Sgt. Tim Chad of Ridge Meadows RCMP in B.C.
Chad had chastised Paulson for “making decisions in a vacuum” and eroding the trust of the membership.
The commissioner’s response was trenchant, accusing Chad of “ill-informed arrogance,” and “living under a rock. He closed the e-mail with: “You have done yourself a disservice.”
Kennedy called the way Paulson handled the exchange “arrogant,” “condescending” and “immature.”
The e-mails signal increasing tension between brass and the membership as the B.C. RCMP attempts to cope with near chaos.
The force has been in a state of turmoil for months as they combat allegations of sexual harassment that have led to a lawsuit that could potentially turn into a class-action with more than 200 female complainants.
Public faith in the force has also been deeply shaken by a series of incidents, including the alleged theft of cocaine by an officer as well as the transfer of another Mountie to B.C. from Alberta who was disciplined for boozing and having sex with subordinates in his office.
“Most of the problem with these harassment investigations is the fact that they were handled by what is now, your management team,” Kennedy wrote.
Paulson couldn’t be reached for comment.