Владимир Ильич Ульянов, on 21 January 2011 - 07:28 PM, said:
i take it you aren't a fan of the rcmp.
Not as it is currently constituted. It is a broken and dysfunctional organization that is unable to deliver adequate policing. The federal Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP (the Brown Report, December 2007), called for a virtual overhaul of the service because the RCMP was "horribly broken" and dysfunctional. Simply restructuring the force, as Carleton University professor Linda Duxbury once noted in a study of the RCMP, won’t cure an “institutionally sick” organization. And the latest revolt by RCMP senior management against civilian RCMP Commissioner William Elliott is just further proof of the rot and sickness in the RCMP from top to bottom.
It's only advantage is that the RCMP may be cheaper - but then you get what you pay for as with most things in life. The criticisms of the RCMP relate to matters of inability to work with other police forces, arrogance and poor training as well as lack of local accountability.
In 1995 when Abbotsford and Matsqui amalgamated the new municipality dumped the Abbotsford RCMP detachment in favour of community based police. Abbotsford Mayor George Peary, who was involved with the transfer, is a staunch supporter of his homegrown force.
“We are not subject to the whims of a national police force,” he said proudly. Nearly all 209 members of the Abbotsford police live in the community, and he said that naturally means better policing. “They coach teams and go to parent-teacher meetings, they attend churches, whatever it might be – they are part of the fabric of our community.”
It is well past time to re-think policing in this province. The RCMP is a broken and dysfunctional organization as several recent reports have confirmed.
Kash Heed when he was Solicitor General advocated moving out the RCMP and he took the position that the costs would not be all that different as there would be economies of scale as well as ending the constant duplication of services. He was most concerned about accountability. One of the problems is that although BC is paying for X amount of RCMP officers the actual detachment strength is about 25% below what is being contracted.
Key changes to make the RCMP more accountable to the public may no longer be at the forefront of contract negotiations between the Mounties and the B.C. government, warns former solicitor general Kash Heed.
Heed said in an interview that he had drawn a "line in the sand" as solicitor general and demanded contract changes that would increase public oversight of the RCMP.
The B.C. government and the Mounties are in negotiations on a 20-year contract. A draft agreement is expected to be ready for the B.C. cabinet to review by the end of the year.
Heed said he wanted the RCMP to fall under the B.C. Police Act instead of federal legislation, so that all police agencies in the province would follow similar rules. The RCMP has publicly said it does not oppose the idea.
Heed also wanted the Mounties to report to community accountability boards with powers similar to municipal police boards.
"That's the only way you're going to bring true accountability back to not only local government, but local communities and regional areas," he said. "There's no other way."
But Heed said he worries those changes are getting watered down since his departure from the Solicitor General's Ministry in May.
"I'm concerned that they're not at the forefront of the negotiations," he said.
Heed said local police committees that deal with the RCMP are far less effective than municipal police boards. The committees that do exist have no real power over budgets, service or policy, and have no ability to hire or fire the RCMP detachment chief, as municipal police boards do, Heed said.
"Why should we have two different systems here in B.C.?"
SFU criminologist Rob Gordon takes the position that BC should hold off extending the RCMP contract until the Oppal Commission has reported on the Pickton investigation. The Doug LePard report from the VPD laid the problems in that investigation squarely at the feet of the RCMP.
It appears the B.C. government is blindly "plowing ahead" with renewing its RCMP contract, said Rob Gordon, director of Simon Fraser University's school of criminology.
"If the province does go ahead and sign a contract without some of Heed's ideas embedded in it, we're going to be stuck with these guys for another 20 years and I think it would be utterly foolish," Gordon said. "It's grossly irresponsible to do it."
At the very least, the government should hold off finalizing the contract until the completion of the Robert Pickton inquiry next year, Gordon said.
The Robert Pickton and Clifford Olsen investigations and the Peter Lee murder/suicide exposed serious problems with the jumble of municipal police departments and RCMP detachments in B.C. and those problems are not going away it seems.
The criticisms of the RCMP relate to matters of inability to work with other police forces, arrogance and poor training as well as lack of local accountability.
Robert Stewart was a Vancouver police officer for 37 years and Chief Constable from 1981 until 1991 and he says this:
- Why are we exporting jobs to a national force? The vast majority of RCMP officers in B.C. come from elsewhere in Canada, part of a national mandate that includes bilingualism quotas. But with provincial police serving Quebec and Ontario, more than 30 per cent of all RCMP jobs are in B.C.
- If the RCMP is going to be effective in the vital areas of federal law governing terrorism, drugs, money laundering, smuggling, Internet fraud and a vast list of other global challenges, the force needs much more focus on these substantial matters and a lot less time spent cruising around neighbourhoods.
- Training at the Justice Institute of B.C. followed by on-the-job training municipal police forces receive has no equal anywhere, and certainly not within the RCMP, whose recruits are trained and conditioned as part of our national identity. Local knowledge is vital in local police work; a constantly changing cast of characters is counterproductive.
Official report after official report has revealed major flaws in the RCMP’s ability to serve the public. The main points that have emerged are that the service has had a dysfunctional command structure that values bullying over respect. The federal Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP (the Brown Report, December 2007), called for a virtual overhaul of the service because the RCMP was "horribly broken" and dysfunctional. In BC why bother going through such a process?? - simply replace them.
Besides the RCMP in BC is chronically understaffed and the municipalities have no control. According to Senator Colin Kenny (former chair of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence) the RCMP will only graduate 560 cadets next year and that is only about one-quarter of what is required on a yearly basis.
As one newspaper editorial noted:
No nation can afford to have its police force become a laughing stock– or in the case of someone like Dziekanski, a force to fear. Dziekanski’s last word, “Why?” is what Canadians should be asking. Why has the RCMP degenerated into a scandal-of-the-month club?
The arrogance and inability to work with others is well documented in a number of cases including the Pickton investigation and in the lack of action against organized crime in this province. The case of Allan Dahlstrom a former Vancouver Police Officer is instructive. I happen to know Al and he has more knowledge of organized crime and biker gangs in his little finger than I have ever seen of a detachment of Mounties. In that case the Mounties got their man - unfortunately that man was Al Dahlstrom - I have noted this horrific story below,
Parochial politicians protecting their turf, local police chiefs each with their own police department and the province government refuses to take the lead on this matter of pressing public safety. Instead we get a patchwork of police agencies that do not play well together. "What we have here is a failure to communicate" and this is further exacerbated by the presence of the RCMP in BC.
Former solicitor-general Kash Heed:
(He) believes that without reforms, the same jurisdictional barriers that plagued the Pickton investigation will continue to wreak havoc. And he believes it’s up to his government to drive the changes, because most chiefs and mayors are unable to see beyond their own parochial interests.
“If we’re leaving it to them, it’s not going to happen,” says Heed, who admits that during his tenure as chief of the West Vancouver police, he only cared about his own jurisdiction. “The province definitely has a leadership role to fix policing in British Columbia.”
Heed argues the province should move on the issue, while it’s in the midst of negotiating B.C.’s agreement with the RCMP, which expires in 2012. “You couldn’t have a finer time in modern history to make that change than now,” he says.
So the BC government pushes through HST that has little public support but refuses to make changes to the policing system that has the support of the public and will provide greater protection along with significant cost savings???
And studies show at least the public gets it even if the local politicians do not. Of course that means some police chiefs will lose their status as well along with other senior police management:
That opinion — that big government grows distant from the people it’s supposed to serve — is often heard in capital region council chambers.
But while politicians and police chiefs might see themselves defending their constituents’ interests (“Saanich taxpayers don’t expect to pay for what goes on downtown,” says Saanich police chief Mike Chadwick) it’s not as though voters have been asked the question directly. A 2003 poll conducted for CHEK and the Times Colonist found police amalgamation was supported by 70 per cent of capital region residents, including a majority in every single municipality. Municipal amalgamation was supported by 53 per cent.
A 2008 study prepared for the Vancouver Police Board cited a 2007 poll that found 65 per cent of Greater Vancouver residents wanted an amalgamated force.
“It appears that public concern with the effectiveness of the police in responding to crime and violence in the region outweighs concerns related to the creation of a larger police force and the creation of ‘no call too small’ policing,” the report said.
“There may be somewhat of a disconnect between the political leadership at the municipal level and the sentiment of community residents. While a number of mayors in the [Metro Vancouver region] have expressed outright opposition to regionalization or are on the record as supporting current policing arrangements, community residents appear interested in exploring alternatives that would increase the effectiveness of the police in preventing and responding to crime.”
So what is needed to accomplish this?
“It will take political courage on the part of the provincial government, which has the responsibility for providing the people of this province with a more effective and accountable police service,” says Simon Fraser University criminologist Rob Gordon. “The government seems to not want to deal with it and they push it back down to the municipalities.
“What’s getting in the way is raw, blind politics.”
Plus the RCMP is a significant obstacle to effective policing in BC - particulalrly against sosphicticated criminals such as orgainized crime, white collar crime and complex frauds.
The dysfunctional RCMP sabotages efforts to investigate and prosecute organized crime through utter incompetence and the inability to work with other BC police police agencies.
BC has failed to combat organized crime for the past 35+ years as the RCMP has continually sabotaged efforts.
For years the Coordinated Law Enforcement Unit (known as CLEU but more like Clueless under the direction of the RCMP) dutifully reported year after year that Hell's Angels were the biggest organized crime threat in BC - yet were unable to secure one enterprise crime conviction in 25 years of operation.
The laws are fine, it is the investigation and evidence gathering that is the problem. It has been this way in the past 35 years in BC. Inspector Clouseau has done a better job than the BC police forces in investigating organized crime.
CLEU was formed in 1974 to fight organized criminal elements. The rationale was it was needed to transcend the traditional boundaries of jurisdiction. CLEU was a Joint Forces Operation, (JFO) funded in part by the provincial government and in part by the RCMP and all municipal police forces in the province. The RCMP was never happy having to share jurisdiction.
Every year CLEU dutifully published reports and analyses of organized crime in BC and named the number one target as Hell's Angels in virtually every report. Problem was during the 20+ years that CLEU existed they were unable to convict a single Hell's Angel of a any sort of organized crime offence. After years of bumbling and mismanagement CLEU was disbanded.
The problem I have pointed out is the inability of Canadian police as constituted to deal with sophisticated organized crime and sophisticated white collar crime. And then there is the more recent issue of cyber-crime.
It is not as if this is any secret as Stephen Owen clearly pointed this out in 1998 in his report commissioned for the BC government to examine the police response as currently constituted "is unable to cope with the growing sophistication and diversity of organized crime." (Report of the Organized Crime Independent Review Committee, S. Owen (Chair), R. Stewart, R. Bergman, Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia, September, 1998)
The Co-Ordinated Law Enforcement Unit (CLEU) spent 25 years targeting organized crime in BC particularly Hell's Angels which CLEU continually declared was the biggest threat to public safety and security while ignoring the Mafia and and failing to come to grips new threats like Asian gangs. Unfortunately CLEU was unable to secure a single criminal enterprise conviction against the Hell's Angels in its history and there were serious problems with security as apparently Hell's Angels placed a number of civilian workers inside. Cue all the jokes about the CLEU-less approach to fighting organized crime in BC.
Unfortunately CLEU was really only replaced in name only the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia in 1999 which was again restructured in 2004 and put under the control of..... wait for it... the RCMP
Maybe the best commentary on this organization may be found at its website where after decade of operations you are met with the home page:
"The mandate of the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia is to facilitate the disruption and suppression of organized crime which affects all British Columbians."
Please note that this web site is currently under reconstruction.
I have advocated for many years that if you want to fight organized crime you need a different model. In the US they take university trained graduates in law, accounting, computer sciences, etc. and turn them into law enforcement officers. They call it the FBI and it has been singularly successful in smashing organized crime working with local and state law enforcement.
In Canada the RCMP takes Grade 10 grads and wonder why they have little or no success in going up against sophisticated organized criminal organizations.
A national organization is needed and it cannot be the paramilitary force that is the RCMP. They may be fine as street cops (and there are some definite concerns even there) but they are inept and unable to deal with sophisticated organized crime and in particular sophisticated white collar crime (securities fraud, computer fraud, etc.).
Many have also decried the management talent (or lack thereof) leading the RCMP - perhaps properly trained professionals with MBA's and HR training would go a long way to improving this state of affairs. Most recently Dr. Mike Webster.
Consider this loss of one of the best anti-biker cops from the VPD whose career was deep-sixed by the RCMP. This was a result of infighting and just plain turf protection on the part of the RCMP, a major anti-organized crime initiative targeting Hell's Angels (Project Phoenix) fell apart and a highly specialized VPD officer Al Dalstrom recognized as a national expert on biker gangs was targeted and forced out by you guessed it - the RCMP. Yup the RCMP got their man - unfortunately it was one of the really good guys - Al Dalstrom.
The bill to the taxpayers?
Well over $3 million down the tubes for mounting Project Phoenix and that never resulted in any charges despite all the evidence gathered.
Insp. Andy Richards, a former investigator with the OCABC who now works for Port Moody police, said Wednesday that Phoenix targeted nine suspects, including three full-patch members of the Hells Angels, and the case should have gone to trial.
"It was a very compelling case and ... highly prosecutable," said Richards. "But because so much baggage had been raised and so much mud had been thrown, Crown was not willing to proceed because ... it was not in the public interest to publicize the level and extent of the infighting."
Richards said, in his view, Phoenix was scuttled by senior RCMP officers because they were jealous another agency had succeeded against the Angels on what they saw as the Mounties' turf.
And a further $2 million dollars paid to Dalstrom in settlement of his wrongful dismissal suit so the story would hopefully be hushed up as the RCMP could not have any further horrendous publicity given the Robert Dziekanski death and screw-up in the Air India investigation.
Now facts in the Dalstrom wrongful dismissal case and the sabotage of Operation Phoenix targeting Hell's Angels are coming to light. And the RCMP is again embarrassingly at the centre of this ungodly mess.
This story was featured on CTV news - see:
And in the Globe and Mail.
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Jul. 21, 2010 3:00AM EDT Last updated on Wednesday, Jul. 21, 2010 9:45PM EDT
The trial of Allen Dalstrom versus the Organized Crime Agency of B.C. had been under way in B.C. Supreme Court for only a few days when lawyers representing both sides approached Madam Justice Catherine Wedge asking for a temporary adjournment.
It was granted. And although no one knew it then, a wrongful-dismissal case that threatened to level serious allegations of misconduct against high-ranking RCMP members would never resume.
The Globe and Mail has now learned that $2-million of B.C. taxpayers’ money was used to quietly end the affair in September, 2008. The secret arrangement was hatched on the courthouse steps during a break in the proceedings. Lawyers for the Crown approached Kevin Woodall, Mr. Dalstrom’s lawyer, saying it was not in the public interest for the trial to go ahead.
At the time, the RCMP could not afford more damning headlines, given that support for Canada’s national police force was at an all-time low after the tasering death of Robert Dziekanski one year earlier. On top of that, there were the in-custody deaths of Ian Bush and Kevin St. Arnaud that had raised serious questions about the conduct of the force in B.C. The turmoil rocking the RCMP has continued, most recently with the scathing findings of the commission set up to investigate Mr. Dziekanski’s death, and the similarly damning report from the Air India commission.
The terms of the settlement were buried in a Crown Proceeding Act Report ending fiscal 2009, which said the province and OCABC accepted the plaintiff’s offer to settle for $1.3-million plus salary and benefits, with the province contributing $550,000 and OCABC paying $750,000 plus salary and benefits for the six-year period outlined in the agreement. Mr. Dalstrom was making about $100,000 a year as an investigator, which puts the amount of the settlement over $2-million when benefits are factored in.
In November, 2008, Mr. Dalstrom received a written apology from OCABC, which is funded by the B.C. government. In essence, B.C. taxpayers were on the hook for the entire $2-million payout.
In exchange for walking away a rich man, the only promise the plaintiff made was to never reveal the terms of the offer or discuss details of the ugly internecine war many believe was ignited by the RCMP inside the walls of the OCABC, a joint operation between the Mounties and municipal police.
Today, few who played a part in the story are willing to talk about the events that destroyed the career of one of Canada’s most accomplished gang investigators. That list includes the B.C. Solicitor-General’s office, the RCMP and senior Mounties who have since retired.
Mr. Woodall issued a statement on his former client’s behalf that read in part: “The events surrounding Mr. Dalstrom’s dismissal from (OCABC) … were very painful for Mr. Dalstrom’s family. … He does not wish to make any further comment on this difficult period.”
Still, a transcript of Mr. Woodall’s opening submission at trial obtained by The Globe lays out Mr. Dalstrom’s case against his former employer. And while it is only the plaintiff’s version of events, it makes clear why the Mounties might have worried about the trial going further.
According to Mr. Woodall’s opening statements, Allen Dalstrom’s troubles began when he opposed the RCMP’s attempt to shut down a major drug investigation by the OCABC. Mr. Dalstrom was the lead investigator on the probe, called Project Phoenix, which was targeting Hells Angels.
The RCMP, though it had officers on the OCABC, was upset that Phoenix might jeopardize its own parallel undercover drug investigation. It is widely believed that Mr. Dalstrom’s successful defence of Phoenix earned him the eternal enmity of the RCMP.
Three RCMP officers would eventually be assigned to Phoenix, and months afterward allegations began being leveled against Mr. Dalstrom. One RCMP officer said Mr. Dalstrom urged him to massage wiretap affidavits to give them a better chance of succeeding before a judge. Mr. Dalstrom was accused of harassing and intimidating another RCMP officer at the agency. It was also alleged he sexually harassed a female civilian employee.
Mr. Dalstrom was cleared of all those allegations, and Phoenix resulted in scores of drug seizures. But the infighting eventually doomed the project, and charges were never laid.
The fighting worsened after a book by Julian Sher, The Road to Hell, came out with a quote from an OCABC insider about how the RCMP viewed the joint operation as an affront to the force’s prerogatives: “We are seen as infringing on their exclusive bailiwick of federal policing and organized crime policing, and they have done frack all here for 25 years.”
The hunt was on to find out who it came from, the suspicion falling on Mr. Dalstrom, who confirmed he’d talked to Mr. Sher but denied saying those words.
After that, life was even more difficult for Mr. Dalstrom at OCABC. He was put on administrative leave on Feb. 5, 2004, ostensibly because there wasn’t anything suitable for him to do in the organization. In July of that year he was terminated, with no explanation. In April, 2006, he filed his wrongful-dismissal suit.
The case promised to make for some uncomfortable time in the witness box for Bev Busson, who headed the RCMP’s ‘E’ Division in Vancouver and was chair of OCABC’s board of governance when Mr. Dalstrom worked for the agency. (After briefly serving as commissioner of the RCMP in Ottawa in 2006-07, Ms. Busson retired.)
According to Mr. Woodall’s opening submission, it was Ms. Busson and David Douglas, a career Mountie from Manitoba who was retired from the force when he became chief officer of OCABC, who “entered a secret agreement” to get Mr. Dalstrom fired. Mr. Woodall also said there was expected to be evidence that Mr. Douglas threatened to “starve” Mr. Dalstrom out by dragging the court case on while the unemployed officer’s legal bills piled up. It was also alleged that Mr. Douglas wanted Mr. Dalstrom to know that, if he sued for wrongful dismissal, the unproven allegations of sexual misconduct would be raised in court.
Andy Richards was Mr. Dalstrom’s supervisor during the plaintiff’s time at OCABC. Mr. Richards, now a senior ranking officer with the Port Moody, B.C., municipal police, had a front-row seat on the unsightly antics allegedly being cooked up to get rid of a respected investigator. In an interview, he said he was asked to change Mr. Dalstrom’s employee performance appraisal to make it less flattering. Mr. Richards refused. He said statements Mr. Douglas was alleged to have made about “starving” Mr. Dalstrom out and bringing up the unfounded sexual misconduct allegations were made in his company.
Asked why he thought such a lavish out-of-court settlement was offered to Mr. Dalstrom, Mr. Richards said: “I think OCABC and the government wanted all that nastiness and RCMP dirty tricks to remain a secret.” He added: “It really is one of the sorriest chapters in our policing history in this province.”
Al Dalstrom now lives in a Vancouver suburb with his wife and two children. He has never returned to policing, and works in the construction industry.
The letter of apology from the OCABC to Al Dalstrom may be seen at the foot of this article in the Vancouver Sun:
The Vancouver Police Department investigation and report into the mishandling of the Pickton investigation (The LePard Report) while noting the VPD was deficient castigates the RCMP. The RCMP continues to blindly believe it is the cream of Canada's police forces - it is not and the training the high school grad recruits receive????
Training is great but it needs to be the correct sort of training not inculcating arrogance as SFU criminologist (and head of the department) and former British police officer, Robert Gordon points out. And this is echoed by one of the best cops ever to serve in the VPD - Douglas McKay-Dunn:
A British Columbia criminologist and former London police officer said Mounties are trained to believe they are Canada’s top cops, while considering other provincial and municipal officers as below standard.
“There’s long been tensions between the RCMP and municipal police services,” said Rob Gordon of Simon Fraser University. “The RCMP know all, cannot be told anything, and they’re the ones alone who stand between chaos and civilized society.”
He pointed to deep-rooted RCMP arrogance on the Pickton investigation, where Mounties and Vancouver police officers withheld information from each other about women who’d been reported missing from the Downtown Eastside since the mid- to late 1990s.
Pickton’s crimes came to light only when a rookie Mountie showed up looking for weapons on the former pig farmer’s sprawling suburban Port Coquitlam property in 2002.
“There’s ample evidence to indicate that the RCMP does not play well with others and most certainly was not playing well with others in relation to the Pickton matter,” said Gordon.
Gordon noted other examples of RCMP problems were highlighted in the recent Air India inquiry report, which criticized the Mounties for fighting turf wars with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service during the investigation into twin Air India bombings in 1985, killing a total of 331 people.
Gordon said Mounties have also caused problems with the various Vancouver-area combined police teams fighting gang violence.
He said a Vancouver police biker gang expert was drummed out of his post in a combined RCMP municipal team by the Mounties.
“He was a sergeant with the VPD, been a project leader, and ran into all kinds of difficulty,” he said. “The guy was an expert, but was treated very poorly by his RCMP colleagues.”
Former Vancouver police officer Doug MacKay-Dunn, who served in the Downtown Eastside and retired in 2001 after 31 years of service, said he encountered difficulties working with Mounties.
“At that point, the RCMP didn’t necessarily get along that well with other organizations,” he said. “They didn’t like being told what to do. They were Canada’s national force and they considered themselves the cream of the cream. They figured they were the best of the best.”
MacKay-Dunn, now a councillor in the District of North Vancouver, said he was one of the first officers to believe a serial killer could be responsible for the disappearances of dozens of women from the Downtown Eastside.
He said he consistently encountered resistance from RCMP brass throughout his career, but rank-and-file officers from all forces seemed to get along.
But MacKay-Dunn and Gordon both agree that the RCMP should not have its current 20-year service contract in British Columbia renewed.
The current RCMP contract in British Columbia expires in 2012.
“Absolutely, don’t do it,” MacKay-Dunn said.
Gordon called the RCMP a broken organization, and trying to change the Mounties would be like “bending granite.”
He warned the current Liberal government against signing any new contract with the Mounties.
“If they are going for another 20 years and the province signs off on it, the current government deserves to fall,” Gordon said.
Here is Rob Gordon's take on the RCMP performance vis a vis the Pickton file:
A lack of integration, a perceived superiority and the absence of old-fashioned police work are some of the key failings of the Coquitlam RCMP's role in the Robert Pickton murder case, according to one local criminologist.
Simon Fraser University's Robert Gordon spoke to The NOW Monday in light of a Vancouver Police Department (VPD) report released Friday that pointed to a number of deficiencies in the investigation of the local serial killer.
What transpired in the "killing fields" in Port Coquitlam, Gordon contends, is indicative of the quality of police services rendered by the local detachment.
"All of this took place under their noses -- that's terrible," Gordon said.
Prepared by VPD deputy chief Doug LePard, the report suggested that 13 women went missing after both the VPD and Coquitlam RCMP identified Pickton as "the likely killer" in the case in 1999. The DNA of 11 of those women was later found on Pickton's Dominion Avenue pig farm.
"The RCMP accepted responsibility for investigating the Pickton information and led an investigation in Coquitlam. This investigation was intensely pursued until mid-1999, but was thereafter essentially abandoned by the RCMP, although the RCMP continued to explicitly assert authority over the investigation," LePard wrote in his report.
"RCMP management appears to have not understood the significance of the evidence they had in 1999 pointing to Pickton, and did not ensure it was collated in such a way as to allow a proper analysis," the report states.
The Coquitlam RCMP declined to comment on LePard's report, which also laid blame on the VPD for insufficient investigative resources and a lack of training and leadership.
"The VPD should have recognized earlier that there was a serial killer at work and responded appropriately, but the investigation was plagued by a failure at the VPD's management level to recognize what it was faced with."
LePard also suggested that "multi-jurisdictional challenges" hampered the investigation.
According to Gordon, the divide between Mounties and municipal police forces is well documented.
He said the culture of the RCMP is one of total loyalty to that organization and that organization alone, whereas municipal forces tend to have a better connection to the communities they serve.
"When you have those two, I think, quite disparate approaches, you're going to have tension," said Gordon, a former police officer from London, England. "The bosses will tell you, 'Everything's fine, we work all the time on making sure that everyone loves everybody else and they all work together.' But my phone rings and my e-mail's constantly clattering away with stuff from RCMP officers and municipal police officers who tell me the contrary."
Gordon also suggested that Pickton's eventual arrest -- after a firearms check in 2002 -- came by way of "sheer dumb luck" on the part of the RCMP, and that routine policing procedures were neglected or not used enough in the investigation of Pickton.
Gordon pointed back to his police training in England when he was 19, when he was trained by a senior officer who showed him the lay of the land on his assigned beat: problem spots and problematic people were pointed out to him in that formative time, and that training helped him hone his investigative instincts.
According to Gordon, those instincts were nowhere to be found in the case of the investigating officers.
"[The Pickton farm] is the sort of thing that an experienced police officer would take one look at go, 'Oh yeah, something's not right there.' If that had happened, maybe the situation would have been quite different," he said.
Gordon suggested a single provincial police service model or a regional police service could have either avoided the Pickton murders, or at least minimized the number of deaths. He argued that one integrated unit would share all resources and information without any competition, and pointed to Australia, Norway, Ireland and Norway as locales that use those methods.
That same view was contained in the summary recommendations of LePard's report.
"Had there been a regional police force in the Lower Mainland at the time of the Pickton investigation, the problems created by the multiple policing jurisdictions would have been significantly reduced and a better outcome likely would have resulted -- there would have only been one set of organizational priorities," the report said.
When will BC realize that it is time to put the Mounties on their horses and head them out of this province?