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Mountie chief to get more discipline power

June 21, 2012 at 9:10 AM   |   Comments

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OTTAWA, June 21 (UPI) -- Canada's Conservative government is working to give the Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner ultimate disciplinary authority for officers.

Last month, Commissioner Bob Paulson issued a rare open letter to the country saying the current RCMP Act is antiquated and that he was frustrated by a disciplinary process that didn't come down hard enough on "rotten apples" among officers.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in Ottawa new 121-page bill is to remedy that, the Globe and Mail reported.

The current system has a maximum penalty of 10 days unpaid leave for most offenses, and while firing is possible, it can take as long as five years to happen.

The force has had several embarrassments in recent months because of rogue officers, including one Alberta RCMP sergeant who was found guilty of drinking on the job, exposing himself to coworkers and having sex with a subordinate.

His punishment was a 10-day unpaid suspension, demotion and transfer to British Columbia.

The commissioner told reporters he will hold ultimate authority in recommending discipline.

"People misbehave sometimes," Paulson said. "Our challenge is to separate behaviors that can be corrected … versus those that attract the most horrendous and outrageous condemnations from everybody."

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