Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Canada Muzzles Citizens While Oakland's Batts Promises Reform

Canada Loses Citizen Oversight

Canada’s main man for citizen review over the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Paul Kennedy, will be fired at the end of the year. It is a decision that comes from far above his head in the government, a decision that points out that the only successful Civilian Review is the one that operates without funding, just votes. Citizens need to own it, operate it, and be above the departments they control. There is not one citizen who has lodged a complaint against the police there who would vote to abolish Kennedy’s office, but the government seems to know better. Read the article here.

How more obvious does it have to get? Police influenced the federal government to prevent a civilian board from getting any usable power. Then they fire the head of the citizen’s organization. Back to square one. Citizen control and tax-free operation must go hand in hand. Influence your legislators accordingly.

Chief Batts, Show Us Your Goods!

Oakland CA is off to a good start with their new police chief Anthony Batts and his desire to bring Oakland into line with the rights the Constitution provides. Chief Batts’ claim that internal restructuring will fix things is a bit naïve when the true restructuring should take place in the cops’ understanding of equality as taught at the Academy, but at least he was observed as lacking arrogance. I hope that lasts. Being on the same page is what we want, so I’m with the Chief so far. Read the Article.

Chief Batts will strike a chord with the citizens when he instructs the cops under him to set up a roadmap for a permanent review board made up of citizens who will determine the usefulness of a cop’s actions and attitude on the job. The cop who thinks they don’t need reform is the one who is totally out of touch with the needs of the job. Effectiveness requires approval from the citizens, a fact that is lost on the current roster of police in America. Possibly some restructuring at the Academy would be in order as well? Then we can start to work on police unions.

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