RCMP employee misconduct cases increased by 158 per cent last year — and the number of RCMP members facing dismissal more than quadrupled — after the force put a new investigation process in place.
Overall, the federal law enforcement agency investigated a total of 741 cases.
A report released last week says it’s too soon to tell exactly why the number jumped, but suggests it’s likely due to an increased emphasis on managers to deal with “unacceptable behaviour.”
The process has become more streamlined, the report says, allowing for matters to be dealt with within six months as opposed to 12-18 months under the old system, and has given managers and employees more flexibility in dealing with conduct issues.
The number of members facing dismissal for serious misconduct increased 331 per cent, to 56 cases.
WATCH: Hundreds of former, current RCMP officers allege gender discrimination, bullying, harassment
“When appointed as RCMP Commissioner in late 2011, I was unequivocal in my pledge to transform the RCMP culture by focusing on accountability, leadership and addressing claims of harassment and bullying within the organization,” Commissioner Bob Paulson says in the report’s introduction.
He says systemic transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but it has been put into motion.
The RCMP has been working to clean up its act following hundreds of allegations of workplace harassment. The RCMP is facing multiple lawsuits relating to harassment, gender discrimination and bullying.
In February Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he blasted Paulson over the allegations, telling him to clean up the “toxic workplace behaviour.”
Last month Paulson admitted the nature of policing lends itself to unprofessional behaviour, citing the long hours and the stress that goes along with being in law enforcement.