I am an avid watcher of Global TV news. Not unlike BBC, I find Canadian news reporting to be reasonably accurate and generally unbiased.
However, of recent I have been disappointed with the seemingly one-sided reporting on the actions of the police whether RCMP or Vancouver Police Department.
I am not a policeman/person. I was a soldier with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). More specifically, a combat medic. Over my career I have been sent on overseas deployments in active engagements of war, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Section 7 act of war, and United Nations Peacekeeping.
During these deployments I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of police departments from across Canada. All of the members of the police forces acted in exemplary measures regardless of the abuse and threats directed toward them. We all realized that our mission was not to aggravate the locals but to assist them.
Unfortunately, there are always situations which present more than any individual needs to dismiss as acceptable. Particularly when the situation involves physical attacks, expressing bodily fluids toward the officer, and of course ultimately brandishing a weapon whether a knife or firearm.
The Rules of Engagement (ROE) under these circumstances becomes quite clear. In every case we are to discourage escalation, ever weary of our own personal safety. Otherwise we become defenceless and at the mercy of the perpetrator.
During the execution or our duties there needs to be a line of separation from controlled to hostile. In more cases than not, the timeline between the two appears instantaneously. The transitional period does not allow sufficient time to think the situation through, and reaction to life or death becomes imminent. Self preservation is paramount.
To bring this back to the local scene and the reporting of the media, I truly have to question the accuracy of the “big picture” as it plays out on the television. It seems to me that there is more onus placed on the officers responding to calls, generally due to a lack of information going into a situation.
I feel that as a society we need to regard the police services of Canada as an honest and necessary adjunct to our safety and security.
There are always going to be “bad apples” within any organization. I can relate to that personally during my tenure with the CAF. We have had to discipline our own in order to gain a level of respect and service becoming a soldier and ultimately a representative of Canada overseas.
It would be my desire to see more objective reporting, presenting both sides of a story without prejudice or influence from any outside source.
As a proud and decorated Canadian, I implore you as an equally proud Canadian group to display more support for our policing authorities.
I am thoughtful of the studies of the media and its psychological effects on the public. How the media can mold the minds and opinions. How the influence of the media can place certain representatives of a certain party in a favourable light during an election.
The media is a powerful resource in our past and present societal behaviours. I feel it is incumbent upon you as a source of power to present the news in a light that offers a choice to the listener/viewer. Not to persuade one way or another, but to leave us to our own thoughts as to what is right or wrong.
The old adage, “if it’s in the news it has to be right.” Or, “I read it on the internet, so it has to be true.” Really?
Please use your psychological-based training to bring us closer together rather that wedging us farther apart.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Hervey Blois, CD2
• Send your letter to the editor via email to email@example.com. Please include your first and last name, address, and phone number.