Wednesday, November 07, 2007
We Mourn Another Slain Mountie
Two of our RCMP officers have been murdered this month in our remote Northwest Territories. For those of you who haven't been in touch with the news yesterday, Constable Douglas Scott was shot in the head at approximately 11 p.m. Monday night, while answering a possible impaired driving call. He had been in the village of Kimmirut, on Baffin Island in the Arctic, for only six months and had just graduated from RCMP Depot in Regina, Saskatchewan. His picture above is his graduation photo from Depot. He was only twenty years old.
The RCMP have announced that they were intending to put "through" a policy next month that would make it essential for two officers to answer nighttime calls in remote regions. Kimmirit is only a village of four hundred people. It proves again that it only takes one person with a gun to undue all the great work Cst. Scott had done with the village youth, at the school, and in his daily contact with friends and villagers alike.
This new policy comes too little, too late, for Constable's Worden and Scott. It's another example of the government's actions well after the fact of a tragedy. I'm sure it'll be little consolation to Cst. Scott's family and friends.
They announced that he worked in this tiny village with an "experienced Sergeant". Two officers to two hundred people, so it was deemed appropriate staffing. When I began policing in 1984, there were forty-four officers on our municipal force, with a ratio of one officer to one thousand people. However, although we were one-man cars, we could count on back-up from anybody else on our shift, and we were obviously in a smaller area.
An inexperienced officer - with only six months service - shouldn't have been stopping an impaired driver without back-up. We don't know yet whether this man was impaired, mentally ill, on drugs not alcohol, or why he felt compelled to shoot this officer while he had his child in the car. So far, he's in custody but not charged, which raises a number of questions I won't go into here.
The fact remains - another young Mountie's life has been cut short. A young man who'd dreamt of being a police officer since he was ten years old, and who comes from a family of police officers - a long, and proud, tradition.
If you want to send Cst. Scott's family your condolences, you can go to Canada.com, find his name, and sign the guest book. I'm sure his parents, siblings, and extended family will appreciate it.
Rest in Peace.