Complete text of a statement to the media from Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the Commanding Officer of the RCMP in British Columbia, on the issue of an Alberta RCMP officer’s transfer to B.C. after being demoted for disgraceful conduct in several cases in Alberta:
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Thank you for attending this afternoon. I am Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the Commanding Officer of the RCMP in British Columbia. I have a brief statement, after which I can take a few questions.
I have made myself available today in response to a number of media requests and continued public discussion around an RCMP employee and his transfer to British Columbia.
Earlier this week, the RCMP in Alberta confirmed that seven allegations of disgraceful conduct were established against Sgt. [Don] Ray. He faced a disciplinary hearing and received a reprimand, the forfeiture of ten days’ pay, a demotion from the rank of Staff Sergeant to Sergeant, a recommendation for transfer, and a recommendation for continued counseling.
He has been disciplined under our Code of Conduct and I am not here to debate the current state of that process. I am on record acknowledging that steps need to be taken to ensure that the discipline process is modernized so that it is in step with current realities and public expectations.
I agree and fully support the Commissioner, who is seeking reforms to the discipline process to ensure that the conduct of members meets the expectations of Canadians. I know we are working diligently to that end.
With respect to Sgt. Ray — it was determined that he will remain an employee of the RCMP. Whether one agrees with that decision or not, the employee now requires a job and a work plan that acknowledges his actions and ensures it does not happen again.
So where does he go? The RCMP works throughout this country which includes British Columbia. His transfer was discussed with me last Fall, and as a leader in this organization, who has over 9,000 employees under his command in multiple areas of policing, I accepted that he could work here.
I have spoken to Minister Bond and she has made her expectations clear to me with respect to the placement of this employee in British Columbia. I have assured her that it is not, nor was it ever, my intention to place this employee into the provincial force or a municipal RCMP detachment.
He will work in one of our federal or national areas of responsibility. We will be monitoring him closely to ensure that the disciplinary measures are having the desired effect and the offending behavior does not re-occur.
I have heard the concerns expressed by the public. I understand that there are questions such as “Why BC?” And I have heard some questioning my commitment to dealing with harassment in the work place.
My commitment has not changed. From the day I was appointed as Commanding Officer of the RCMP in British Columbia, I have acknowledged that we must continue to evolve and improve.
I am committed to improvements in transparency, performance management and holding those accountable who fail to meet standards of conduct and professionalism. That will continue with Sgt. Ray under my command.
Was the decision to accept his transfer an easy one? No. While others may have looked at the circumstances and simply decided it was “not their problem — let someone else deal with it,” that is not how I lead and that is not what I expect of my leaders. I expect that, when faced with a challenge, they will step up — not step back.
We continue to develop and work on initiatives that will ensure a respectful workplace for our employees and increase accountability to the communities we serve. I have spoken before about the consultative efforts we conducted with respect to gender-based harassment, which included a number of recommendations for which I asked for a more comprehensive action plan. I can tell you that I was just briefed on that plan yesterday, and my commitment is to share that plan with my employees first before providing specifics publicly but I can say is that there are over 50 initiatives to effect change, which I am confident will ensure a respectful workplace for all RCMP employees in this province.
I am confident we are on the right path and I will not allow us to deviate from the path.
FG_AUTHORS: RCMP Watch