General News · 26th June 2020
Cpl. Sean Bulford
Anyone following the news over the past several weeks is well aware that policing across North America has been the topic of many heated discussions. Some of the incidents triggering this debate have been so far outside of accepted police practices and training, such as the George Floyd death, that there is no question the officer was wrong. I have yet to speak to a single police officer that has even attempted to justify what happened on that day or offer a defence for what transpired. It was wrong, plain and simple. I'm not hear to advocate for police, the other incidents in the media are under investigation, and the details will work themselves out in due time after a fulsome investigation. Whether the main stream media elects to revisit those incidents and report on the full picture is out our control. The only thing we can control is our own actions, and the way we deal with the public each and every day. I've personally made a practice of treating every single person with compassion, understanding, and respect, no matter their background or life choices. That is the way I was raised, it's the way my father, a retired RCMP officer, served over his 38 year career. This approach has worked well for me, and that's exactly the way I intend to continue doing business.
Police work is difficult most days. You deliver terrible news. You are called upon to deal with situations that are well on the way to being out of control. Sometimes these were years in the making, and you arrive on scene at the zenith, expected to make it right. Often you don't have the answers, and you have to rely on your good judgement and previous life experience because you cannot be trained for every scenario. You are asked to deal with things that a police officer shouldn't be expected to deal with. I have over 13 years of stories that would make you cry, laugh, or shake your head in disbelief. Please do not mistake this as a cry for sympathy. We all chose this career to help our country, because we recognized that despite the difficulties, it will always be a worthwhile endeavour. Our communities need to feel safe and supported, which is what we aim for. But it is not a good time to be a police officer. The actions of a few have cast us all in a very poor light.
My only hope is that as the RCMP takes the brunt of the criticism for what is a Canadian wide problem, it will open dialogue and real discussion on the topic of reconciliation. RCMP officers across Canada are serving indigenous communities well, each and every day, going the extra mile. We know, more than any grand-standing politician, or university professor, how the system has been stacked against First Nations people in this country. We live in many of these communities, we have eyes, ears, and hearts. We see it and feel it. We are also painfully aware of our organizations role in much of that history. If this country requires a single scapegoat for over a century of transgressions and racist policies by successive governments across the political spectrum, so be it. The Mounties I've had the honour to serve with will gladly wear that if leads to real change. I've lived and worked in several indigenous communities in my career. I've always been amazed come Canada Day (which is right around the corner), that despite everything that has happened in the past, how these communities stand up to celebrate Canada so loudly. In hindsight, perhaps they are celebrating what Canada can, and should be, not what it is. This is a time to listen, and not a time to get defensive. We are listening.
I have stated before that the members of Quadra Island Detachment feel privileged to serve these islands. The past few weeks have not changed our opinions, in fact quite the opposite. While our colleagues across this country are being screamed at, and in some cases spat on, for things they have had no direct hand in, we have received an outpouring of support. We have had gift baskets, baked goods, cards, and phone calls of support, to numerous to count. I think this speaks volumes about the character of these communities, and the job we do each and every day for you. I would like to say thank you many times over on behalf of all of us, to the We Wai Kai and Klahoose First Nations, and Quadra, Cortes, Read and Rendezvous Islanders, it's truly a pleasure to serve you and work with you.
Cpl. Sean Bulford
Quadra Island RCMP
If you have any information regarding an incident or crime please contact the Quadra RCMP at 250-285-3631 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.