MONCTON, N.B. – A retired Moncton RCMP officer says a public inquiry into the city’s police shootings is the best way to improve conditions within the force.
Terry McKee served on the police force for 36 years and says officers are dealing with a lack of personnel and equipment and their needs must be addressed.
He says a public inquiry would be the best way to rally support.
“I think it’ll put people in a position where they will want to support changes to make sure that their police officers have nothing but the best out there,” he said.
McKee knew two of the three officers who were shot and killed. Two other officers were also injured in the attack.
McKee says officers need to be better equipped to deal with these types of violent encounters.
“When it comes to equipping the frontline members with the most up to date equipment and having them properly trained on it and being proactive on that aspect is not comparable to any budget,” he said.
The RCMP is working on an internal inquiry of the shootings. But McKee says it won’t be enough to improve working conditions within the force.
“Let the public be aware and have the government take action with that and make sure that we are properly equipped,” he said.
McKee’s call is gaining support. The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada says a public inquiry would shed light on challenges officers are facing in the field.
A professor who made recommendations to the RCMP following the deadly police shootings in Mayerthorpe, Alberta nearly 10 years ago is also calling for a public inquiry.
Darryl Davies says his recommendations to better equip the RCMP weren’t followed. But he says a public inquiry could force the RCMP to finally act.
“The RCMP are still one of the major police forces inadequately equipped to deal with these types of situations on the streets of Canada,” he said.