Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Aside, Concerning Respect

I have indicated in an earlier post that I have a great deal of respect for the Police. and that there are a number of things that unfortunately erode that respect. Having to hear about the testimony of the four RCMP officers at the Braidwood Inquiry is a perfect example.

There are also things that restore that respect, and they can come from what you might consider unlikely sources, or situations. Yesterday a report published across Canadian Media contained a prime example.

Staff Srgt. Marko Shehovac, RCMP Golden Detachment, did something that many other Police Officers are simply not 'man enough' to do. What did he do? He apologized. He did so without qualification, or trying to excuse himself. He did so compassionately, and emotionally. And while doing so he accepted full responsibility for, and the consequences of his actions, or his failure to act. And in doing so, he has done something that a hundred Braidwood Enquiries will NEVER accomplish: He restored a bit of credibilty to, and respect for, an organization that has recently come under justifiable scrutiny for the actions of its members.

Staff Sgt. Shehovic screwed up badly. And he realized it. And he apologized for it. It is rather unfortunate it seems that for every Sgt Shehovic we have with the RCMP, we have at least one each of Millington, Bentley, Rundel, and Robinson.

"Having had the advantage of 20/20 hindsight and investigating further into this for the last week, I have come to the realization I had put blind faith in the information that was provided and that I failed to ask probing questions to satisfy myself that the matter was adequately addressed," Shehovac told the council meeting.
"Had I done so, a search of the area would have been initiated on the 21st. For this I am truly sorry to Mr. Blackburn, his family and friends. I am accountable for this error in judgment on Feb. 21st and will accept the consequences."

We are all human. We will all make mistakes. What sets apart those worthy of admiration and respect from those worthy of ridicule and condemnation is the manner in which one deals with the mistakes they have made. There are many who could learn a lot from the experience of Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac, hopefully some will. It is my fear however that most will not.

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