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"RCMP set aside criminal investigations to increase counter-terrorism"

The Bread Guy

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Can't be everywhere ....
As the number of RCMP investigators tackling the terrorism threat continues to grow, it is raising concerns that other important federal cases are taking a back seat.

Last October, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told a Senate committee that 300 investigators had been pulled from organized crime and financial crime cases to help support 170 members dedicated to RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams across the country.

The number of re-assigned investigators is closer to 500 now, a senior law enforcement source told Postmedia News this week, adding that the number fluctuates daily.

If this trend continues, there is a legitimate concern that organized crime — which takes the form of drug trafficking, human smuggling, identity theft, money laundering and fraud — could “flourish,” Pierre-Yves Bourduas, a retired RCMP deputy commissioner, said Wednesday.

In Bourduas’ opinion, the No. 1 threat remains organized crime and the No. 1 “weapon of mass destruction” is drugs. If these are allowed to go unchecked or are given less attention, “then there might be consequences for Canadian society writ large.”

“It’s a delicate balance,” he said.

The federal government has a decision to make, said Garry Clement, a retired superintendent who was in charge of the RCMP’s proceeds of crime program. Does the RCMP focus on one area? Or does it get additional resources to continue with other parts of its mandate?

For now, he said, “it’s a great day for organized crime.” ....
 

McG

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Sounds like we need to increase the size of the RCMP.

Counter-terrorism work has 'sidetracked' 300 RCMP criminal probes
CBC News
07 Mar 2015

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson says he thinks the full, unedited version of Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's self-filmed video will eventually be released.

In an interview airing Saturday morning on CBC Radio's The House, host Evan Solomon asked Paulson if 18 seconds from the beginning and end of the video made on the day of the shooting would one day be made public by police.

"I think so, eventually. I would like to think so," he said. "I can't give you a time estimate, I don't think anything is lost in terms of what Canadians are seeing from Zehaf-Bibeau."

Paulson said the national police force made an operational decision to release the parts of the video where Zehaf-Bibeau mentions Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, but withhold parts that could have hurt the ongoing investigation.

"The balance we're trying to strike here is to give the information to the Canadian public and also preserve and protect the integrity of what is an active criminal investigation," he said.

Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial the morning of Oct. 22, 2014, then was shot and killed inside Parliament Hill's Centre Block minutes later.
More than 300 investigations 'sidelined'

Paulson also expanded on a few of the topics that came up during his appearance before the House of Commons public safety committee on Friday, including counter-terrorism operations and the squeeze on RCMP resources.

"We have over 600 officers reassigned to counter-terrorism, so that brings us up to 870 people [working on it]," he said.

"It's a question of priority setting, right now we're putting the priority on counter-terrorism … it's very labour intensive.

"So then the question is, at what cost? And the cost is these other [investigations] – I think we've sidelined about 321 significant criminal investigations outside counter-terrorism. That's going to have an effect after time."

He also said the RCMP's watchlist is growing, with people in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec who either want to go abroad for reasons that concern police, or have gone and come back.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/counter-terrorism-work-has-sidetracked-300-rcmp-criminal-probes-1.2985224
 

Tibbson

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We all know what it means to do more with less.  Something has to give. 
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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If CSE is our organization charged with gathering some form of Intelligence for Canada, and CSIS is charged with counter-intelligence and humint, and the military's intelligence services are charged with , well intelligence of interest to the military, isn't it time that a separate service for counter-terrorism be created, so the RCMp can concentrate on policing?

Just a thought. Beside, it would make tracking how much counter-terrorism costs much simpler, and would remove the pressure on the RCMP to cut other important investigations.
 

brihard

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RCMP are chronically undermanned across the country. Not many detachments are running at strength even on paper, and then once you add sick leave, MATA/PATA, courses, vacation etc, there are a lot of communities who would be appalled if they realized what parade strength was versus the nominal role on any given watch.

I'll be very curious to see if the recent supreme court decision regarding unionization leads to collectively bargained mandatory minimum manning levels. I know hiring has picked up considerably in the past year and a half, but that merely brings the RCMP up to replacement levels- a balanced budget in terms of manning, as it were, but the debt is still there.
 

noneck

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You can also factor in that over 35% of the Force has 24 and a day....two bad days and the institutional knowledge has the ability to walk!
 

McG

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
... isn't it time that a separate service for counter-terrorism be created, so the RCMp can concentrate on policing?
Policing is how you attack a terrorist network.  The financing and logistic networks of terrorism and organized crime are overlapping and often one and the same.  It would be better to give the RCMP the resources that they need.  Let the force establish a deeper gene pool of the specialists.  Avoid duplication of effort, and simplify balancing of resources if priorities and/or threats change.
 

Alberta Bound

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The advantages to having the RCMP continue with anti-terrorism are numerous but among them I would think the following are the most important. This country is huge! How many other organizations could have assets, offices, infrastructure in most of the major, medium, small and isolated locations. This gives you insight into a community, critical infrastructure, issues and the ability to address evolving situations in real time. That enhances networking and local intelligence. The seven members posted at Beaverlodge AB may not be able to do a lot when a rash of oilfield bombings happen (remember Weibo Ludwig). But it does give you an advance party and area connections. How many other organizations could leverage 300, 500 or 1000 investigators with a phone call to start driving, flying, heading to a location or several locations? In Ottawa, Toronto or Iqaluit. If you set up a new organization how many people would you hire, where would you base them, where would they get a depth of investigative experience? The RCMP only has about 200 members in National Security. But when something happens they can draw on literally thousands of other investigators for short, medium and long term taskings all across the country.

Really it is up to the government to decide how many assets are needed in Nat Sec. Then fund it. The RCMP only has a piece of the pie with CSE, CSIS, CF. If 200 isn't enough on the "criminal intelligence - investigation side of Nat Sec". Is 300? 400? The right amount of dedicated resources.

I won't get into the issues with manning etc on the contract policing side, as this is less about the RCMP and more about the funding partners Federally, Provincially and locally.  But one thing we are good at is putting resources into the needed areas when something happens.

 

Colin Parkinson

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Take it from the CFO office, minimize their role and get rid of ATT's that will free up resources.
 

Ostrozac

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Hatchet Man said:
Or reduce their role in municipal/provincial policing.

In theory, over the long term, it's a great idea for the RCMP to reduce contract policing to provinces so that federal policing becomes a greater priority.

In practice, it would torpedo the Force in the short term. If BC or Alberta were to stand up provincial police forces tomorrow, the first decision they would make would be to open the doors to lateral transfers to every RCMP member living in that province.  Sask, Man, NS, PEI, ditto. A New Brunswick police force would have to be bilingual -- and would try to strip as many bilingual guys from the RCMP as they could. The RCMP that you would be left with would be without the responsibility of policing provinces and municipalities, but also without manpower -- you'd be stuck with a rump force policing the north and chasing terrorists and organized crime, and those areas would still have the same manning issues as today.
 

The_Falcon

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Ostrozac said:
In theory, over the long term, it's a great idea for the RCMP to reduce contract policing to provinces so that federal policing becomes a greater priority.

In practice, it would torpedo the Force in the short term. If BC or Alberta were to stand up provincial police forces tomorrow, the first decision they would make would be to open the doors to lateral transfers to every RCMP member living in that province.  Sask, Man, NS, PEI, ditto. A New Brunswick police force would have to be bilingual -- and would try to strip as many bilingual guys from the RCMP as they could. The RCMP that you would be left with would be without the responsibility of policing provinces and municipalities, but also without manpower -- you'd be stuck with a rump force policing the north and chasing terrorists and organized crime, and those areas would still have the same manning issues as today.

I didn't say to do it over night, and obviously it would take some planning and logistics to work out. But I think over the long (very long term) the Federal Government/RCMP should look at moving to a strictly federal agency, I think some provinces (BC/Alberta especially) have just gotten too cozy with the relationship, and are too damned lazy to change things. Perhaps there wouldn't be a need for huge amounts of lateral transfers, as people would be more willing to join a local/provincial force, since there wouldn't be the requirement to move anywhere in the country.

I know many people who got into policing in the GTA, and by and large most never had the RCMP on their radar because they simply were not interested in working in a small town in the prairies.
 

Ostrozac

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Hatchet,

I totally agree with you. Particularly that BC and Alberta SHOULD have provincial police forces. But it has to be a slow, slow process.

And the RCMP has to be careful that they don't end up with an endstate force that is half anti-terrorist investigators while the other half is guys stuck north of 60 -- with minimal movement between the two career paths.
 

Ludoc

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Hatchet Man said:
I know many people who got into policing in the GTA, and by and large most never had the RCMP on their radar because they simply were not interested in working in a small town in the prairies.
I can say the same about people in the GTA who stayed away from the OPP because they were not interested in working in a small town in the northern Ontario.

Provincial Police forces may be what the RCMP should transitioning to, but they will not solve the problem of recruitment as there will be just as many isolated postings.
 

The_Falcon

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Ludoc said:
I can say the same about people in the GTA who stayed away from the OPP because they were not interested in working in a small town in the northern Ontario.

Provincial Police forces may be what the RCMP should transitioning to, but they will not solve the problem of recruitment as there will be just as many isolated postings.

It may not completely solve recruiting issues, but there is the chance someone from B.C. will take a more remote posting with a provincial force if it at least means they get to stay in their home province.

I think another stumbling block would also be Depot is not configured to train new hires to be investigators right out the gate the same way that Quantico and FLETC in the US train their people, and from reading posts on police forums, there is a significant number of officers who would balk at the idea of having people go straight into investigative roles and declare it impossible to do, and that time on the street is required first (and yet the US does precisely that with the FBI, ATF, DEA, NCIS and several other agencies, and in some cases the RCMP does send people fresh out of depot to Ontario/Quebec where RCMP functions don't involve street policing)
 

Alberta Bound

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i don't think that moving the Force out of Contract Policing will suddenly open up a pool of applicants for the new Provincial police forces that you feel should be formed. If that were true Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto wouldn't have had the problems that they have had in the last decade recruiting. 

i also don't think Federal Policing gets forgotten due to Contract Policing being a Business line. If anything Contract Policing, due to the funding formula often supports / augments Federal Policing. Also depending on funding pressures there have been efficiencies in moving people among various Federal, National, Provincial or Municipal postings as there is needs in each area.

Not sure why BC / AB are lazy or too cozy just because they decided to use the RCMP for Contract Policing vs forming their own Provincial Police. All four Forces who provide Provincial Policing, SQ, OPP, RCMP and R Nfld C have had ups and downs without one coming out as a clear "better" candidate 

But would love to hear your reasoning. 
 

Alberta Bound

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Regarding Quantico and FLETC. You also have to remember that many of the US Federal agencies also recruit from the pool of City, County, State and other lesser Federal enforcement officers. This gives them a pool of "new" people often with lots of practical experience. In effect what the RCMP gets by having most new members cycle through Contract Policing.

Also not all those new graduates of Quantico and FLETC come out as instant expert investigators. Most take years of mentorship to get to the same level as some of their classmates with City, County etc experience. 

There are many who argue that the RCMP should get out of Contract Policing including in the RCMP.  But I have yet to see one successful argument when all pros and cons are weighed.
 

brihard

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I think we can probably all agree that contract policing is where the talent pool develops for those units anyway. Guys build investigative and court skills working GD, they learn how to start doing human source stuff while working the streets, they develop the investigative smarts that build towards the skill sets they need later on.

Given that the lower mainland municipalities just renewed their 20 year contract with the RCMP, I don't think we'll see a significant move there.
 

The_Falcon

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Alberta Bound said:
i don't think that moving the Force out of Contract Policing will suddenly open up a pool of applicants for the new Provincial police forces that you feel should be formed. If that were true Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto wouldn't have had the problems that they have had in the last decade recruiting. 

I think you may be confusing staffing (ie the number set by politicians) with recruiting, at least in Toronto's case. Toronto doesn't have an issue with finding people to fill classes (until the PC brigade gets all uppity regarding class composition regarding gender/race etc.). I don't know about Vancouver or Calgary, I don't live in either city, and don't know what their situation is like. 

Not sure why BC / AB are lazy or too cozy just because they decided to use the RCMP for Contract Policing vs forming their own Provincial Police. All four Forces who provide Provincial Policing, SQ, OPP, RCMP and R Nfld C have had ups and downs without one coming out as a clear "better" candidate 

But would love to hear your reasoning.

Simple, the OPP, SQ and R Nfld C, already exist, if AB or BC were to start their own provincial forces, they would have to:

1) Create the administrative structure for C2, staff it (and deal with unions and ensuing contract negotiations) and fund it themselves
2) Create the logistical structure (maitenance/procurement etc.), staff it (and deal with unions and ensuing contract negotiations) and fund it themselves
3) Training, either increase training capacity at an existing training facility (like JIBC) or create a new one
4) Figure out a transition/staffing plan for police operations, and deal with the police associations the would be created, which would most likely see a jump in costs due to the collective bargaining process

I am sure 1-3 are worked into the contracts but given that those costs are shared with multiple provinces, the cost is likely lower than if they were to go it alone.  Also maintaining status quo is much easier (and less risky monetarily and politically) than trying to implement a new way of doing things.

Alberta Bound said:
Regarding Quantico and FLETC. You also have to remember that many of the US Federal agencies also recruit from the pool of City, County, State and other lesser Federal enforcement officers. This gives them a pool of "new" people often with lots of practical experience. In effect what the RCMP gets by having most new members cycle through Contract Policing.

The US agencies may recruit and probably prefer those with prior experience, but it isn't a hard requirement though. From the FBI's Special Agent recruitment eligibility page https://www.fbijobs.gov/explore-careers/sa-needs.asp
The FBI seeks candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds with a diverse set of skills—no law enforcement experience is necessary to become a Special Agent, nor is experience with firearms. All training for the Special Agent position will be provided at the FBI Training Academy once you are selected.

For Fiscal Year 2013, the FBI is seeking applicants with the following backgrounds and expertise:

    Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
    Attorneys (Prosecutor, Defense)
    IT Network Administrators, Intrusions
    Engineers
    Detectives
    Military (specifically Special Forces, Explosives, WMD, and Intelligence experts)
    Scientists (Lab Experience)
    Foreign Language(s) speakers (particularly Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Urdu, Pashtu, Punjabi, Russian and Farsi)
    Pilots (Helicopter, Fixed-Wing)
    *Diversified (all other backgrounds or skills not specified above)


I have tried looking for actual statistics to see what the actual percentage of agents at the various ABC's have prior LE experience, so far haven't found anything.

Also not all those new graduates of Quantico and FLETC come out as instant expert investigators. Most take years of mentorship to get to the same level as some of their classmates with City, County etc experience. 

I never said they came out as instant experts, and I recognize this fact, and I sure there is some sort mentorship in place as they public state no prior LE experience is necessary

Brihard said:
I think we can probably all agree that contract policing is where the talent pool develops for those units anyway. Guys build investigative and court skills working GD, they learn how to start doing human source stuff while working the streets, they develop the investigative smarts that build towards the skill sets they need later on.

Given that the lower mainland municipalities just renewed their 20 year contract with the RCMP, I don't think we'll see a significant move there.

I am not sure I do agree, if our neighbours to the south have developed a process to do it (with multiple agencies) then why can't we? Also I know for a fact the RCMP does send people straight from Depot to Ontario and Quebec (how many I can't find the information, but an FOI request will get me the answer, unless one of the RM's posting here have the numbers and can share), in fact there is Mountie at my gym back home who fits this category. From Toronto, joined the RCMP (no prior LE), went to Depot, posted back to Ontario upon graduation, and working at Pearson. He conceded it was rare, but not unusual.
 

daftandbarmy

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A US based example, but an interesting discussion of the role of police in counter-terrorism.

Bottom line, you can't win without them, and it looks like all levels of policing are involved in some way, or should be:

http://chrisherwig.org/data-src/pdf/72ce5978-53b5-11e2-8874-5c969d8d366f-cops-and-spooks-the-role-of-police-in-counterterrorism.pdf

This unit is also a good example of a police led unit at the national level, in the UK.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) is a police unit that supports the 'protect and prepare' strands of the government’s counter terrorism strategy.https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/national-counter-terrorism-security-office

Gee, isn't that what the RCMP Security Service used to do, before we demolished it  :facepalm:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCMP_Security_Service
 
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