Skip to content

Are speed traps result of RCMP quotas?

If you are a frequent reader of my column, you know I have been a fairly vocal critic of the constant speed traps that have cropped up in our city recently.

If you are a frequent reader of my column, you know I have been a fairly vocal critic of the constant speed traps that have cropped up in our city recently. I, sometimes, think I am putting a bull's eye on myself for a ticket as soon as I'm clocked doing 54 in a 50! However, an extremely reliable source has informed me the main reason behind these speed traps is the fact that general duty Yorkton City RCMP officers now have quotas of five tickets each per month. They are also expected to apprehend, at least, one impaired driver a month. Yorkton City RCMP has a rough count of 20 officers on staff, so that's 100 traffic violations and 20 impaired drivers each month. The quickest and most efficient way to reach your quota is to set up speed traps.

I don't proclaim to be an expert when it comes to RCMP general duty work, but here is my two cents on quotas: it puts RCMP in a negative light when it comes to public perception. I also suspect those working in the trenches (constables) also know this, but are simply carrying out a mandate. On the flip side, I have no issue with a soft quota if this is something done short-term to get officers working a little harder. However, my understanding is that the quota has been in effect for, at least, six months. I also suspect these officers are more than busy already with what I would call 'real crime'. I used to sit in court several days a week when I worked at the radio station and the general public would drop their collective jaws if they had any idea what goes on in our city on a regular basis. If you want to find out for yourself, court is open to the public and it's on the main floor of the radio station building on Smith Street.

Unless you live secluded from the outside world, you have probably heard of Dustin LaFortune. He is in a Regina hospital suffering from very, very serious injuries after being, apparently, tortured over a period of several months. He weighed 240 lbs and was starved to the point where he was just under 90 lbs. Parts of his tongue and lips have been cut off. If you aren't aware of him, just Google his name. It is, maybe, the most gut wrenching thing I've ever read. It's also a bit confusing as the family has named the person, on Facebook, who they feel is the perpetrator, while police have said nothing. I understand both sides here. I think the police will have a harder time finding the individual because the 'suspect' knows he's being sought simply through Facebook. At the same time, this guy really should turn himself into police. We live in a society where more and more, the eye-for-an-eye punishment is accepted by the general public. If the wrong person comes across this alleged suspect, it could get real bad in a real hurry. And, yet, if this person named on Facebook is the individual responsible for this beyond-imaginable pain and suffering for Dustin; then I say whatever happens. happens.

It's not unlike the Paul Bernardo case when I was in high school. There was talk of re-introducing the death penalty. I said at the time, and still feel this way, that the death penalty would be way too kind for Bernardo. I said, let him loose in the general population for a bit and then put him back into segregation. I may sound harsh, but the reality is that criminals like Bernardo and also the individual responsible for the LaFortune torture will never be on the receiving end the way their victims were.The Saskatchewan Government says they will now make inmates at all four provincial correctional institutions pay for their personal phone calls (legal calls are exempt from this) so that a new monitoring system can be purchased. The bleeding hearts are out in full force again on this one. An official with an inmate support group says, "The whole idea of having to pay for calls many of them can't because there is no money." I say 'boo hoo'. An official with the Ministry of Corrections states, "We certainly don't want to impose any hardship on any of our inmates." So, should the cost of making a phone call be prohibitive, correctional facility's director may allow the call to be free.

Therefore, is this going to be a law with no teeth? There is also the question of those on remand and whether or not someone not yet convicted of a crime should have a conversation monitored. Again, I say 'tough luck'. Some people spend a great deal of time on remand because they know it counts as double and therefore become experts at dragging out the case so that when the sentence is finally handed down, only - time needs to be served.

Nice person mentions this week to: Rob Bear, Bev Woods, Marcel Porte, Lisa Kirkwood, and Kevin Shirtliffe.