BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

General Law Enforcement discussion which does not fit into other channels. Post your thoughts and feelings about anything you want (LE related), or just vent those fumes about whatever is on your chest.
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Malibu » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:42 am

I think when it comes to the term "specialist", many people are trying to make themselves feel justified in their chosen path. You could argue that every single section in the police universe, other than general duty, is therefore a "specialist" position as that is all you concentrate on. Enforcing the various motor vehicle acts, in my opinion, is not nearly as specialized as being in forensics, dog man, serious/major (murders) crime. I also believe that some areas of sections could be considered "specialized" such as writting a "part six" warrant or being a interogator/polygraph operator or rappel master/sniper on an ERT. But merely enforcing the multitude of sections in a motor vehicle act, no, you are not a "specialist".

And on the note of one or two sherrifs backing me up, I'd take them if I had to, but they would have no experience outside of theif ticket writting. I would prefer the member who has done general duty for a while to back me up.
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby vhetu » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:00 am

Alberta Blue wrote:
Dudley DoRight wrote:4 words...New brunswick Highway Patrol. The political mess only lasted a few years when the force finally folded in disgrace with one of their members murdered on the US border. What happens when a traffic stop runs into gangbangers/bikers/weapons/drugs...you know, all those things Piperline talks about. How about stolen property, prohib drivers, warrants, impaired by drug or alcohol, guns, defective vehicles.....all the stuff you find attached to a speeding ticket. No training...no charges and a dangerous situation for an untrained Sheriff.


You are perpetuating a myth here. The "untrained" Sheriffs in Alberta receive the same training (or in some cases more advanced training) in traffic enforcement as any municipal or RCMP traffic member in Alberta.

We run into "gangbangers/bikers/weapons/drugs...you know, all those things Piperline talks about. How about stolen property, prohib drivers, warrants, impaired by drug or alcohol, guns, defective vehicles" all the time, and are quite prepared to deal with them.




I am going to disagree with this point, as a Police Officer in the Province of Alberta, employed by the Government of Canada ( I will let you figure out from there), I have seen and dealt with several Alberta Sheriffs. Most are great, willing to help out and are beneficial to the safety on Alberta Highways. I do however believe you are wrong in your above mentioned point. What would an Alberta Sheriff do in the case of a Stolen Vehicle, what would a Sheriff do in the case of an impaired driver, what would a sheriff do with firearms in a vehicle. Section 494 of the Criminal Code is ringing in my ear.., unless of course a person has full CC authority and falls within 495. The key is...call the RCMP....or any municipal POLICE SERVICE.

Dont get me wrong, your purpose is appreciated and we greatly enjoy your presence on Alberta Highways, however, to say that your training is the same as ours, I will disagree on that....I wont go into further details, however, if the Alberta Government was to terminate their contract with the RCMP, I would bet my paycheck and pension that they would not simply turn Sheriffs over in a Provincial Policing role without the necessary training that we, as police officers have received either at Depot, or at any other Police Academies.

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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby ASGPS Sheriff » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:25 am

So does that make the RCMP better because they do 6 months of training and most other police forces do 4 months they are not at the same standard as the RCMP. We it comes down to it alot of the Sheriff's training comes down to on the job, they receive the required training for what they do. How many Police Officer have Radar and Lidar? I know many that have yet to receive theirs and they have been on the job for over a year.

The sheriff's do specialize in traffic enforcement if I had the choice to ask a Police officer in GD or a Sheriff about traffic related question I would go 100% with the Sheriff's. Same as if I had a question about commercial vehicle I would ask the CV Officers.

This topic will always come up because we are not police and there is the generalization that only Police should be doing this type of duties. It is no different then people making comments about Railway Police that they dont dealt with this or that so they are not real police.

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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Jim Street » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:20 pm

I don't think he's saying that six months in Depot compared to say four months for some muni makes a Mountie better. I'd argue that until I was blue in the face.

What he's saying is that POLICE specific training is going to be better than Sheriff training.
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby PPSC Lawyer » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:25 pm

All I know is that in many jurisdictions we have non-lawyers actually prosecuting traffic tickets.

Now, they know their way around the applicable statutes very well, and they know the basics of trial advocacy. I suppose I could point out that in the rare situation where something complex or out of the ordinary comes up (say, asserting a Charter violation, or a Brown v Dunn situation), they'd be lost and would have to call a Crown, but really they're good enough for 99% of the time, and it frees Crowns up for other work.
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby vhetu » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:49 pm

ASGPS Sheriff wrote:So does that make the RCMP better because they do 6 months of training and most other police forces do 4 months they are not at the same standard as the RCMP. We it comes down to it alot of the Sheriff's training comes down to on the job, they receive the required training for what they do. How many Police Officer have Radar and Lidar? I know many that have yet to receive theirs and they have been on the job for over a year.

The sheriff's do specialize in traffic enforcement if I had the choice to ask a Police officer in GD or a Sheriff about traffic related question I would go 100% with the Sheriff's. Same as if I had a question about commercial vehicle I would ask the CV Officers.

This topic will always come up because we are not police and there is the generalization that only Police should be doing this type of duties. It is no different then people making comments about Railway Police that they dont dealt with this or that so they are not real police.


I once again disagree with your point, Because our training is 6 months doesn't make it any better than for say EPS or CPS or any municipal police agency. As a police officer, our scope of duty ranges from dealing with Bylaw complaints, Assaults, Domestics, Sex Assaults, Fatal Collisions, Impaired drivers, right through to Murder Investigations.

Yes you are right, a member may not have Radar and or Laser Certification until he has service, its not the case every time, however, it sometimes happens. The rational as an NCO behind that is we want our members to be looking at drivers, looking into vehicles, hunting for that ticket, instead of just looking at a box that tells you a speed.

I also agree when it comes to specific duties, Off course I would call a CV Officer if I had an issue with a commercial vehicle. Off course I would call CN Police if I had an issue with something on the tracks, and finally, If I had a traffic question that I no clue what the answer was, If a Sheriff was around, I would ask him for his advice.

At the end of the day, were dealing with the same 10 percent of the population 98 percent of the time, a shit rat will often beat his wife, sexually assault his niece or nephew, sell drugs, harass people, speed, have numerous traffic infractions, and probably drive drunk...and the list goes on...

Its our role to catch this shit rat and give him whats coming, together as a team.

I guess the morale of the story is our levels or training are different, but, whatever level they are, they are set to ensure our safety while at work.....

Cheers,

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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Alberta Blue » Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:40 pm

I don't take issue with any of the things being said here, I think its good to have a frank and open discussion regarding our role and how Albertans can best be protected on our highways. As all of the RCMP and Sheriff traffic forces in Alberta are currently integrating, I think it will only be to the benefit of both our agencies. We will get to know each other on a more personal basis, and can really be a benefit to each other. I am currently working in an integrated unit, with an RCMP partner, and he has told me that he just likes having someone to work with. Instead of going out to work the highways alone, there is now some camaraderie. He doesn't care that I have a different color stripe on my pants, I know his family, he knows mine, and we would back each other up no matter what the scenario.

To clarify my post regarding our training being equal to that of a police officer, here is what I meant: With regard to traffic enforcement, we receive the same training as any police traffic member. So no, we are not trained in all of the things a GD officer would be, like domestics, assaults, mischief etc. That said, before a new Sheriff officer hits the street, he has been trained in Level II Collision, Radar, Laser, IARD, Pipeline, Pepsi, EVOC, and a whole host of other things that are traffic-specific. Our training is conducted by the same certified instructors that would teach police officers, whether they be from within our organization or not. Our management knew when we started that we would not be taken seriously as an organization if we were not given the proper training, and further, they knew that our training curriculum would be under the microscope as soon as there was any kind of incident or complaint. It was by design our training standards are what they are. If you don't believe this, feel free to give our chief a call and ask him, he will say the same thing.

Subsequent to the article mentioned above, there was a follow-up story the next day regarding collision data in the province of Alberta. It showed that since 2006 (the year the Sheriffs hit the highways), traffic fatalities have began to decline after several years on an uphill trend. While this may be a statistical anomaly, I think we can all agree that properly focussed traffic enforcement will reduce collisions and subsequent fatalities.

With regard to the "specialist" comments, I will just say that working in a traffic unit is a lot more that just writing tickets. In fact, I probably spend less than 1/2 of my time in that function. I have a friend who works along the QE2, and those traffic units spend even less time writing tickets. In his task queue, he has hit and run files, injury collisions files, and is responsible for taking 911 calls on the highway 2 corridor. All these require investigation, interviews, follow-up and all the rest. Sheriffs are working files involving alcohol and fatalities as well, as first-responders, statement-takers, interviewers, file coordinators, etc.

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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby vhetu » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:38 pm

Dude, I know where your coming from...I work in a Detachment also with an integrated Member and Sheriff unit. Do I appreciate Alberta Sheriffs on our highways in our detachment area, Absolutely!!, Would I back up a Sheriff up when he is in need of assistance...absolutely, no questions asked (however a XL DD would be appreciated..lol). Would a Sheriff back me up if need be, Probably!!, I think I may have scratched a scab in my previous messages, if so, I apologize. I think the program is still being fine tuned, and I wont understand why things are different from where I am at compared to what they do in the QE2 corridor....maybe one day that will change...

I guess at the end of the day, well have to wait and see when the Solicitor General provides full CC authority to Sheriffs, as their hands are tied in certain circumstances. Hopefully that gets ironed out soon...

Will Alberta ever change over to a Provincial Police Service, only time and politicians will tell.....I wouldn't lose a nights sleep over it, they would probably create popcorn sections to put us in...lol...

None the less, Ironically I can currently being transferred to the QE2 Corridor where my unit will have an integrated Sheriff and Member contingency, I will well see from there!!

Im done with the ranting, or the need to explain what were trained to do and or not trained to do.....

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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Alberta Blue » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:18 am

I hope I'm not coming across as defensive, because I'm really trying not to be. I'm not one of those guys who wants to "evolve" into something else (like Police). I love my job the way it is, and look forward to going to work. I wouldn't trade it for anything, and am generally glad I don't get bogged down with CC files and a huge task queue. I just want to make sure that all of the facts are out in the open so that people can form informed opinions. At the end of the day, I'm just happy I get paid to to something I enjoy. :drinking:

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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Flames300 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:27 pm

I'm wondering if after all this discussion on this thread it anyone has actually heard any news/rumors about the future in Alberta or BC with regards to policing? I'm assuming that both provinces have begun negotiating the next provincial policing contracts that expire in 2012 with the RCMP. P. Stelmach has been pretty vocal in the past about keeping the RCMP but could there be changes in the contract? I'm not from BC so I've not heard much about it from the coast but I'm amusing that they are also planning on negotiating for another 20yrs with the RCMP as well.

Any thoughts?

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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby BROVO26 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:39 am

Flames300 wrote:I'm wondering if after all this discussion on this thread it anyone has actually heard any news/rumors about the future in Alberta or BC with regards to policing? I'm assuming that both provinces have begun negotiating the next provincial policing contracts that expire in 2012 with the RCMP. P. Stelmach has been pretty vocal in the past about keeping the RCMP but could there be changes in the contract? I'm not from BC so I've not heard much about it from the coast but I'm amusing that they are also planning on negotiating for another 20yrs with the RCMP as well.

Any thoughts?


They are still talking, I can not see the RCMP going anywhere soon but who knows what will happen in 20 years. I think it would take years to have a change over to a provincial police force ( i mean service :) ).

It's not like you can just change the system over at midnight from one to another. new buildings, cars, radios and I don't think every mountie will just become a BC provincial cop! 2032 maybe the dawn of new policing in the west. Stay tuned folks...
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Tango5 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:22 am

Not that I am saying it will happen but heard over the radio this morning that Surrey might be the most likely prospect to go Municipal.

Edit: most likely just rumors.
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Federal CO » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:46 am

Podhalan wrote:Not that I am saying it will happen but heard over the radio this morning that Surrey might be the most likely prospect to go Municipal.

Edit: most likely just rumors.

Very Very doubful, as Surrey is the largest RCMP detatchment in Canada.
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Mongo » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:22 pm

Federal CO wrote:
Podhalan wrote:Not that I am saying it will happen but heard over the radio this morning that Surrey might be the most likely prospect to go Municipal.

Edit: most likely just rumors.

Very Very doubful, as Surrey is the largest RCMP detatchment in Canada.


I would think that fact exactly would make it the most likely to go to a municipal service, no?

As far as traffic specialization goes, MVC reconstructionists are generally sharp investigators with buckets of training, but if you're just talking pure enforcement, a monkey actually could do it. I should know, I had one on loan from a zoo a while back and I used to have him work the radar/laser for me while I had a snooze.
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Re: BC Sherrif's, cheap Highway cops?

Postby Inspir » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:30 pm

Mongo wrote:
Federal CO wrote:
Podhalan wrote:Not that I am saying it will happen but heard over the radio this morning that Surrey might be the most likely prospect to go Municipal.

Edit: most likely just rumors.

Very Very doubful, as Surrey is the largest RCMP detatchment in Canada.


I would think that fact exactly would make it the most likely to go to a municipal service, no?

As far as traffic specialization goes, MVC reconstructionists are generally sharp investigators with buckets of training, but if you're just talking pure enforcement, a monkey actually could do it. I should know, I had one on loan from a zoo a while back and I used to have him work the radar/laser for me while I had a snooze.


I thought the Wood Buffalo Deatchment in Alberta was the biggest :ponder:


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