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Const. Chris Garrett Medal Thread- Merged

Reccesoldier

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zipperhead_cop said:
Okay, that speaks to discreditability.  But to be honest, the military has far more chances at medals than a police officer.  The number of on-duty deaths is pretty low, and there is no indication that this family are being "medal detectors".  They felt that creating any attention towards this situation would harm the case, and they were trying to "play the game" as they were told.  Most civilians would not be aware that such a nomination could or would be held in confidence if submitted.  Certainly, more education on our side is needed, but that is no reason to deny this on a calendar technicality. 

<sigh>
This isn't a competition.  The fact that Police officers do not have the same opportunity as Soldier to win valour awards is probably the lamest excuse I've heard yet.

No this family is not acting as "medal detectors", but just as our laws are not created for those who naturaly follow a moral and peaceful course in their lives, these regulations are not designed to protect the system against people like this family but from exploitation by those who would if the could.

Everyone here realizes that if this nomination is permitted to procede it is not a done deal that the nomination will amount to anything right?

I'm not going to change my mind on this.  I think that it is a precedent that would cause much more harm than good for the whole honours system.  To quote Churchill...

"The object of giving medals, stars and ribbons is to give pride and pleasure to those who have deserved them. At the same time, a distinction is something which everybody does not possess.

If all have it, it is less value.

There must therefore be heart burnings and disappointments on the borderline. A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow. The task of drawing up regulations for such awards is one that does not admit of a perfect solution. It is not possible to satisfy everybody without running the risk of satisfying nobody."
 

Roy Harding

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Reccesoldier said:
<sigh>
...

Everyone here realizes that if this nomination is permitted to procede it is not a done deal that the nomination will amount to anything right?

...

See my post above - I certainly understand that point and believe the process should proceed as per normal.

Policy is set to assist in the accomplishment of a goal - it can be set aside in justified circumstances, by authorized persons.  I would submit that setting aside the time limit for nominations is THIS case is justified.  Those folks who waited to submit the nomination felt they were in compliance with the spirit of the policies - why should the officer's family be denied this boon simply because of a bureaucratic policy - no matter how well intentioned that policy is?
 

Reccesoldier

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Consider this administrative terrorism if you wish that is your perogative.  The policy is not ambiguous, there are no caveats attached.  Police services should have been helping these people from the get go, and they aught to have known better.

Some light reading...
http://www.gg.ca/honours/decorations/bra/bd-info_e.asp

The Chancellery of Honours keeps all nominations confidential to respect privacy and to avoid disappointment if the nominee is not selected. We ask that nominators and others involved respect this policy.

Nominations must be made within two years of the incident.

The Police Services investigate eligible cases to ensure that information is accurate.
 

Roy Harding

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I understand how the policy reads.  You miss my point - WE (the great corporate WE) set policy to serve OUR needs.  When, due to unforeseen circumstances, that policy no longer meets our needs, WE can set it aside for a specific case, or amend it to better suit our needs in future (amendments can even be backdated, should that be desirable).

Policy is just that - policy.  It is not analogous to a natural law which is impossible to ignore.
 

medaid

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IMHO, if this occurred to one of ours we would be in an uproar as well, and we would do all that we can in our power to help the family, including petitions, online letter writing and so forth.

So, why are we treating him any different? HE was one of US. HE IS one of US. We all wear a uniform, and we ALL serve. Applications could be backdated, administrative burden or terrorism or not, it could be fixed. With the dedication and willingness to help others, WE CAN do it. Precedence? I don't think so. Righting a wrong caused by an HONEST mistake out of good will is COMPLETELY acceptable.

He was a brother, just like any of you are to me and others.
 

Reccesoldier

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Roy, and you are missing mine.  I do not think that it suits our (the big hand, small map our) interests to allow the policy to be set aside for reasons I've already explained.

If you think that the genie of policy manipulation is so easily put back in its bottle once an exception is made you are sadly mistaken.  Sticking with the medals theme take a look at the SSM NATO.  It had to be suspended in 2004 because way back somewhere someone interpreted the Order in council in such a way that any guy sitting in Europe pollishing the seat of his CF pants in some cushy CDA position was awarded the bar for "operational service' ... Hence the derision of that medal as the "beer and brocky medal"  "4 year vacation medal"  etc.
 

Reccesoldier

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MedTech said:
IMHO, if this occurred to one of ours we would be in an uproar as well, and we would do all that we can in our power to help the family, including petitions, online letter writing and so forth.

No.  You are wrong.  You would never even know that it happened.  There are a bucketload of guys that shoulda, coulda, woulda been nominated.  They were and are ours too. 

Some gentlemen in Somalia did some pretty impressive stuff,  but we all know what happened there...

Where does it stop?
 

medaid

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Reccesoldier said:
No.  You are wrong.  You would never even know that it happened.  There are a bucketload of guys that shoulda, coulda, woulda been nominated.  They were and are ours too. 

Some gentlemen in Somalia did some pretty impressive stuff,  but we all know what happened there...

Where does it stop?

I don't think I'm wrong. Yes, I more then likely would never have heard about it. Yes there are a huge load of guys who have done what they have done. This is due to the nature of our jobs. There are quite a many who don't receive recognition everyday as members of LEAs, but that's not the point here. I understand where you're coming from Reccesoldier, I really do! I also agree with you that this isn't a competition for medals. However, when a soldier goes forth for a valour nomination, there usually isn't a trial and a criminal investigation that goes along with it.

I think, we agree on the moral part of the picture, but not the ethical part of it?
 

MPIKE

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I do see a side to reccesoldier's argument of maintaining the integrity of the awards system.  Fair.  But in this case, the decision to maintain the integrity of the case out weighed the compliance with a regulation. The Charter issues with this case were absolute.  To overlook this issue could have cost the Crown's case and had a killer walk  and even more importantly set a dire precedent in case law for the Defence .    Unfortunately, "honours in confidence" doesn't sound like its worth the paper its written on and would have opened some very scary doors should this have been submitted during the court proceeding.

My opinion everyone in this example were acting in good faith, therefore, an exemption should be allowed.  In this LEO context, I am not aware that is was a case of supervisor inaction??

There are over 13000 others who feel that this issue should be redressed. Should you agree.....

http://www.petitiononline.com/05142004/petition.html
 

George Wallace

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PIKER said:
My opinion everyone in this example weres acting in good faith, therefore, an exemption should be allowed. 

There are over 13000 others who feel that this issue should be redressed. Should you agree.....

So, following your logic and counter to Reccesoldier's warning, you would have several thousands of other cases or more also put in claims for other acts in the past, that have so far not filled the criteria required for such an award.  Once you set one precedence, in this case as in the Legal System, others will use it to justify their claims.  If you make an exception for one, all others will feel that they are also entitled and the can of worms is open. 
 

MPIKE

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George Wallace said:
So, following your logic and Reccesoldiers warning, you would have several thousands of other cases or more also put in claims for other acts in the past, that have so far not filled the criteria required for such an award.  Once you set one prescedence, in this case as in the Legal System, others will use it to justify their claims.  If you make an exception for one, all others will feel that they are also entitled and the can of worms is open. 

Pretty broad statement that others will submit based on this case? What is wrong with the exemption specifically to deal with matters involving cases currently before the courts?. 

I do not think the Garrett file would put the system into disrepute but enlighten me.  Will the system that scrutinizes criteria not continue to document their decisions?

 

Roy Harding

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I follow and acknowledge the point regarding the integrity of the Honours system, made by reccesoldier, CSA 105, and George Wallace amongst others.  I also understand the concern regarding "opening the floodgates"; however, based on what I know about this specific case (which knowledge is limited to the news article and the contents of this thread), I believe an extraordinary exception should be made for SUBMISSION (not necessarily AWARDING) of an award for this LEO.

I believe everyone involved acted in good faith - those who did NOT submit the application for award felt they were doing so in order to not prejudice a criminal case before the courts, those refusing to accept that submission now are doing so in order to protect the integrity of the Honours and Awards system.  As for CSA 105's point regarding supervisor's doing their job - you are 100% correct, what your post did not mention, however, is that while military supervisors are familiar with, or have access to others familiar with, the Honours and Awards system, it would be my uninformed conjecture that our civilian and LEO counterparts are LESS familiar with the system - thus perhaps entitled to more leniency regarding compliance with them - as long as their non-compliance is a result of honourable intentions, as seems to be the case here.

Based on what I have read here, and despite the valid concerns for the integrity of the system, I think an exception to the submission timeline should be made in this case.
 

George Wallace

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PIKER said:
Cheers champ. you make this place special. You've demonstrated you've missed the spirit of this thread..
  

No I didn't.  I feel for the family and friends of this brave man, and even though an injustice has been done; making an exception of the rules for him will be just as big an injustice to many others.  A "double slap in the face" if you may, to others who have also found themselves under the same or similar circumstances.

So Cheers yourself champ.
 

22B

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...this is a civil matter, not a military one, so why the discussion?
 

Roy Harding

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22B said:
...this is a civil matter, not a military one, so why the discussion?

Because we're interested.  AND - it's in the "Security and Emergency Services" forum, appropriately enough.
 

Blackadder1916

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Governor General proposes two new options to recognize Constable Garrett
http://www.gg.ca/media/doc.asp?lang=e&DocID=5236
November 27, 2007

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is very aware of and empathizes with the public’s desire to honour the late Constable Christopher Garrett of the Cobourg Police Service in Ontario for his exceptional actions in the line of duty and for service to his community. From the first moment this case was brought to her attention, the Governor General, through the Chancellery of Honours, has been working with the government to examine options to recognize the actions of the late Constable Garrett. 

Policies and regulations governing national honours fall within the purview of the National Honours Policy Committee, a committee under the responsibility of the Privy Council Office. This committee advises the Prime Minister on matters related to the Canadian honours system since regulations for national decorations are the responsibility of the government, not of the Governor General, and can only be amended by Order in Council. 

In respect of the rule of law, the Governor General is asking that two options be explored to recognize the high level of professionalism demonstrated by the late Constable Garrett’s actions. 

First, the Governor General has requested that the Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee consider a Meritorious Service Decoration for the late Constable Garrett. Meritorious Service Decorations honour those who have demonstrated a highly professional performance of a deed or activity that brings considerable benefit or honour to Canada. 

Second, the Governor General has requested that the government consider the creation of a new decoration to recognize those citizens, like the late Constable Garrett, who have fallen in the line of duty. 
 

Blackadder1916

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I count myself among those like reccesoldier et al who believe that maintaining the current criteria for the bravery decorations is the proper course.  If those who wished to recognize Cst Garrett's commendable action only withheld nominating him due to not wanting to prejudice his murderer's trial, how do they reconcile the constable's nomination and posthumous award in 2005 of the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery.

http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2005/02/25/c8412.html?lmatch=&lang=_e.html
2004 Ontario Medal for Police Bravery Recipients:

    Constable Christopher Garrett (Posthumous Award)
    Cobourg Police Service

    On May 15, 2004, constable Christopher Garrett responded to a robbery call. The caller alleged that he had been robbed. Other police officers responding to the call were sent by Garrett to look for the alleged thief, leaving him alone with the caller. The caller then allegedly ambushed Garrett and inflicted what would be a fatal stab wound. Garrett, although seriously wounded, was able to pursue his attacker. The extraordinarily heroic actions of constable Garrett saved the lives of other police officers and citizens.
 

bdog

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There is one other possable option the GG and the PM could ask the Queen to award a George Cross. I know it outside the normal Canadain honour system however it would still be a high award and mark of valour. Of couse they could also pass an OIC to allow for this one award. Personally I don't see the harm the American awarded Teddy R his Medal of Honor almost a 100 year after the fact.
 

Reccesoldier

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Seems to me that recognition has already been awarded.  In addition the timing of this police award seems to blow a big freaking hole in the claim that the family or the police service was worried about prejudicing the court case.

I'm beginning to reassess my initial reaction to this entire story.

As far as the issue of our interest the answer is simple.  There is only one national Honours system.  Compromises made for this police officer affect every single serving retired and deceased member of all LE agencies and the CF

 

geo

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All in all, the basic rules and regulations are written so that it works well for the majority of instances.
The two year rule is a reasonnable one & senior management should be held to follow the guidelines as best they can

THAT HAVING BEEN SAID, YOU DON'T BLINDLY FOLLOW RULES.

So they missed a two year deadline for whatever reason.... BIG DEAL!
Time to take off the blinders and do your job and evaluate the submission on it's own merit!
Artificial timelines are.... artificial.  The administrators who refuse to lift their nose from the paper's edge should have their weewee slapped hard and told to look after JOB ONE.
 
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