Saturday, April 2, 2011

Badges, It's Not That Hard

I really don’t know what it is with cops today. Seriously. After 90 or more Officers (we don’t actually know how many) were supposedly disciplined for not having their badges on during the G20 Summit, officers STILL don’t seem to get it. Now seems to be an appropriate time to push for more punishment for these Officers. It was in the news, it was talked about publicly, it was even questioned by Parliament and still we have Officers that do NOT wear their badges. Apparently the punishment was loss of a days pay. Well, that’s now no longer good enough. They KNOW its wrong and still do it. Time to start treating them like children. First it was a days pay, let’s make it a weeks pay now. They still have to work, they just will NOT get paid for it. They all have a uniform to wear, and that includes the badge. You’d never see them ‘forget’ their gun, or Taser, or pepper spray, or baton, or handcuffs…would you? I wonder what the punishment would be if they forgot one of those?

Maybe the punishment should be a little different. What about this:

You’re caught without your badge, you still get to work that day, but, that caveat is: you do your job without your gun, and handcuffs. Barring that, maybe we could convince their mothers to join the force to ensure that their children are properly dressed.

I passed a protest march last week and was impressed with not only the protesters, but by the co-operation and communication with the police and their ability to keep the street pretty much open, though slower in one direction. Almost all the officers had their badges. Of the 30 or so that I saw, only one didn’t. And it appeared as though he was wearing a new jacket. More on that later. That works out to about 97% compliance rate. Pretty good, could be better though. Yesterday, I passed 6 bike cops, only 3 with badges, or 50%. That is rather disappointing. Those officers did not appear to have the new jackets.

What is worse in this situation is the ‘excuse’ I heard on a video from Yonge/Dundas Square that was brought to my attention. Apparently, the newer police jackets cannot have the badges on them due to warranty and waterproofing issues. What this simply means is that they bought the wrong jackets. It’s not like this mandate was new. Though, they were fighting it in a tribunal, and recently lost that case, so maybe they were a little over-zealous thinking they might win. But, they can buy new ones; it’s that simple of a fix. What it boils down to is a compliance issue. If the badge is part of the mandated uniform, then any uniform that does not have an attachment point for them should not be worn. It’s a simple concept. Whoever does procurement either screwed up, or went ahead despite knowing that the uniform would not be able to conform to the code. Either way, they’ve wasted your taxpayers’ dollars.

They seem to be able to get it right at MacDonalds...

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