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The RCMP really needs to get its act together when it comes to punishing wrongdoers within its ranks. The suspension of RCMP Constable Derrick Holdenried for stealing seems outrageous and bizarre when compared to that of killer cop RCMP Corporal Monty Robinson or sexual offender RCMP Sgt Don Ray.
Monty Robinson, you will remember, is the guy who ran home to down a couple of shots of vodka before returning to the scene of his crime. He didn't even have the decency to check and see if Orion Hutchinson was even alive. Running home for more to drink was far more important.
Monty Robinson has remained on the RCMP payroll for almost 4 years now, despite being convicted of obstructing justice in the Hutchinson case.
Then there is Constable Derrick Holdenried. While I don't buy his defense that he stole because I attended a horrific suicide scene and have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I do feel for anyone who has to deal with that sort of horror as part of his or her job.
No matter how horrific that suicide scene was though it does not excuse Constable Holdenried's being a petty thief, however.
The RCMP isn't commenting publicly on Holdenried's case, at least not yet. Holdenried himself has said that RCMP brass have informed him they want to get rid of him, a statement that baffles me, to be honest.
Stealing is wrong. That's not even up for debate. What is up for debate, however, is how different cases of criminal wrongdoing by RCMP members is dealt with.
The RCMP wants to get rid of Constable Derrick Holdenried for stealing $22 from a community policing station. I'm not necessarily against his being fired for that. After all, the men and women who serve in our police forces must be held to a high standard if they are to retain the respect of Canadians.
That being said, why is firing a guy who stole $22 such a critical example to make when killers and serial sexual predators are protected within the RCMP's ranks?
I don't get it. As I said earlier, the RCMP still has not fired RCMP Corporal Monty Robinson. In fact Robinson is STILL receiving his full pay rate nearly 4 years later. Absurd doesn't even begin to describe that horrific situation.
Then there is the case of Edmonton RCMP Staff Sgt. Don Ray who was docked 10 days pay (oh the horror!) and quietly transferred to an unknown location in British Columbia. The BC RCMP brass are so intent on protecting Don Ray that they refuse to tell anyone where Ray is stationed.
They have no qualms whatsoever to disclose the whereabouts of another sexual offender though. The difference? That sexual offender doesn't have an RCMP badge on his chest.
That's right. Convicted sexual offender Donald Bakker served his sentence and was released from prison. Officials believe Bakker is a risk to re-offend. They believe that because Bakker refused to attend any rehabilitation sessions while he was incarcerated. The RCMP released his location and warned the public to be on the lookout for him, as I wrote about in my article "RCMP Sgt Don Ray and Donald Bakker: two sexual offenders treated very differently by RCMP Brass."
They felt no need to warn the public about the whereabouts of RCMP Staff Sgt. Don Ray though. That's miraculously different.
The RCMP never tried firing Don Ray for his repeated sexual offenses either.
Derrick Holdenreid has a legitimate claim of PTSD and although I completely discount that as any excuse for stealing money from the desk of a fellow RCMP member, it must be taken into account somewhere in the process, I would think. The fact that Veterans Affairs and Employment Insurance have both accepted claims based on his PTSD diagnosis bear out the legitimacy of that claim.
Then there is the fact that he's always accepted responsibility for what he did, the fact he apologized directly to the constable whose money he stole and made restitution, all things which neither Monty Robinson nor Don Ray have done.
"I've always been honest about what I did," Derrick Holdenreid says.
"And I took responsibility. I've made my apologies. I've dealt with the criminal case which resulted in a stay of proceedings. I've done everything that's been asked of me and more to correct this as much as I can. What I would expect is accommodation."
On the face of it, I believe Derrick Holdenreid has a case. It appears the RCMP has not treated him the way they have treated far worse offenders who wear the red serge.
The crimes of both RCMP Corporal Monty Robinson and RCMP Staff Sgt Don Ray make the petty theft by RCMP Constable Derrick Holdenried appear to be exactly what it is: petty, small, utterly inconsequential when compared to both repeated sexual offenses and killing a man with utterly no remorse.
Yet the RCMP wants to make an example out of Constable Derrick Holdenried and ignore the likes of Monty Robinson and Don Ray?
The RCMP's priorities are seriously screwed up, if that's the case.