RCMP flack over liquor licence unwarranted 0
What a non-story the RCMP application for a liquor licence was for their new headquarters in the Green Timbers area of Surrey. News shows this week led with a story read by anchors in breathless indignation.
Talk show callers bellowed out their hyperbole, saying cops should not be given a liquor licence and then drive home drunk from the office killing innocent people.
That's a bit of a leap. In fact, there is a 'wet mess' in most police headquarter buildings in the country. Certainly, the existing RCMP HQ has always had a mess. Seriously, where's the news value in the Mounties following the law to have in their new building exactly what they have had for years in their old building?
Some will point at disgraced Cpl. Monty Robinson, who killed a motorcyclist on his way home from a party, as a reason why the RCMP shouldn't offer liquor at its facility. There's no excuse for his behaviour but it shouldn't tarnish the vast majority.
These wet messes exist for a few reasons, but a significant one is it's very difficult for cops to go for an after-work drink with colleagues in public. They don't want to run into someone they've arrested or frankly, some half-drunk, cop-hating creep who fancies his chances when the cop isn't wearing a gun.
Cops see the worst in humanity every day. They have to fight and deal with violence as a matter of course in their jobs. When they are done, they like to decompress with workmates on occasion. They also talk about things they are working on and that's confidential - having these conversations in a bar isn't appropriate.
RCMP are an easy target and it is patently unfair to the men and women who diligently, bravely and regularly serve the rest of us. Somehow, it has become de rigueur to criticize the police for anything and everything.
The Mounties aren't perfect, far from it. But, frankly, this latest go 'round is offside and unfair. It is not illegal to drink nor is it illegal to drink and drive in Canada. It is illegal to drink and drive with a blood alcohol level above .08 criminally and .05 under provincial statute.
It is unfair, speculative and unfounded to claim RCMP stationed at their new HQ will deliberately and often break the law. They deserve our respect for the service they provide day in and day out unless and until they prove otherwise.
Find Leo Knight on Twitter: @primetimecrime