LETTER: ‘Disturbed’ by the defund the police movement

Our police officers are inexpensive and would give their lives to save you

I am extremely disturbed by the “defund the police” movement now trending in Canada, in Vancouver and even closer to home.

Our RCMP and city police units deal with those lives lost due to the utter trauma in New Brunswick, the Bacon Brothers in the Fraser Valley, murders at Five Corners and suicides in the Chilliwack Valley. Have you dealt with a loved one passing, your home or vehicle being broken into, drug dealers down the street, finding a friend dead with uncertainty as to when or how, mail theft, and more? I have, and I live in a lovely neighbourhood and am an educator in our district. The fact is, you have, too.

• READ MORE: When protesters cry ‘defund the police,’ what does it mean?

When any of these unpleasant and/or traumatic events have occurred, the RCMP have appeared. No matter what.

Ambulances are funded by Victoria. Regarding firefighters, we depend upon those employed and those that are voluntary. An RCMP officer costs only $160,000 (all pension, health, and other deductions included). With a net income of maybe $100,000, less than an elementary school principal earns, and approaching the same as what a bank manager may earn, why must we critique them?

RCMP and police officers, just like our Canadian Armed Forces soldiers, sailors, and airmen who may earn $100,000 if s/he is a CWO or officer having served 20 years, deserve every penny they earn and far more. They put their lives on the line for us everyday, like Constable John Davidson in Abbotsford; Constables Anthony Gordon, Leo Johnston, Brock Myron and Peter Schiemann near Edmonton; Constables Douglas Larche, Dave Joseph and Fabrice Gevaudan in Moncton, New Brunswick; Constable Heidi Stevenson from Kelowna; just to name a few of them.

With certainty, I know that there are a good two or three hundred more who have given their lives in the line of duty. Two to three times that many have taken their own lives due to what they have experienced, and 10 times that many must mentally deal with the trauma they have experienced as they attempt to lead a normal life. Our soldiers, sailors, and airmen in the Canadian Armed Forces are the very same.

As these men and women step forth willing to give their lives, be it abroad, across our nation, or next door to a friend in Sardis, why are people quoting “defund the police” these past few weeks?

Have some police officers done wrong and, such as George Floyd last week in Minneapolis, broken the law? Yes.

Regarding our police forces in Canada, is it perhaps one per 100 or 500 or 1,000? Yes. Then again, have you personally broken the law?

In conclusion, absolutely all lives matter. Our RCMP and police officers are inexpensive and would give their lives to save you.

C. Keith-Gratton

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