A retired inspector with the RCMP says he fears an over-abundance of responsibilities is hampering the Mounties’ ability to remain effective.
Ian Parsons spent over thirty years in the force.
During that time he has seen a lot of change.
He says the RCMP used to have fewer budget considerations to operate under.
It also was Canada’s police force in a time when the majority of the country was of European descent.
He says the makeup of the country is much different now, and the force has had difficulty responding to that changing demographic.
Parsons says his first posting on a reserve didn’t go over well, but he blames that on his own poor attitude and a lack of knowledge.
He feels cross-cultural training is something every officer needs to succeed in aboriginal communities.
He adds it’s something he himself took at university:
“I went back feeling that my exercise had to be community based. At the next detachment we met people on the reserve on a personal basis. We talked to elders and we did everything we could to reduce the polarity between the police and the people so essentially we became their police force.”
Parsons recently completed a book called “No Easy Ride” where he details challenges facing the RCMP and how they can move forward.
One of his main recommendations is that the force hands over responsibility of urban and municipal affairs to the province and focuses on federal matters.