( Photo: Patrick Bouchard Taken By: (DIANE DOIRON / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
RCMP officer Patrick Bouchard has gained much media attention over the last few days for several reasons.
First, it started when Bouchard spoke to media in September on how senior management was “nowhere to be seen”, it was while attending the judgment in the case where they failed in provide adequate equipment to stop gunman Justin Bourque in June 2014. On September 29th 2017, the RCMP were found guilty and the sentencing is Nov. 23 in Moncton.
Bouchard has now come under media attention after he refused to shave his goatee. On October 11th he was issued a “negative performance log” which he says he was advised that his “comments were unacceptable”.
When he was asked about his goatee on October 13th he stated that he explained that he it was “related to the yellow stripe movement” and Bouchard said that he took the opportunity to “discuss issues that affect officer safety”.
Fast forward to October 17th and where he said when he got halfway through his shift he was “told to go home and shave” too which Bouchard respectfully refused because he of what he states as “manpower issues and officer safety”.
They decided to restrict him to “administrative duties” because according to Bouchard he is “in danger because it’s possible I would not get a proper seal should I need to use the issued mask.” Since he was not yet issued a mask at that time he disputed it.
Bouchard took to Facebook to write a lengthy post with the entire timestamp of what happened on each particular day, and he said that he believes that he is being “targeted” because of his initial comments that spoke out against senior management.
Bottom line he says “It’s bullying. It has nothing to do with my goatee.”
Read the entire post:
“Sorry for the length. Want to clear my head before I go to bed. I’m trying to look at this objectively. Let’s rewind the clock approx 2 months.
I’m working as an operational policeman. I wear a goatee. I have no stripe on my uniform. My performance at work is not in question and I go about my duties unfettered. I attend a FIT testing exercise/training. I take the training and pass it with a goatee. I am able to get a seal and a mask is ordered.
For all the shifts in between those dates…
I’m working as an operational policeman. I wear a goatee. I have no stripe on my uniform.
Sept 29th. I attend the Labour Code decision in Moncton. I speak to the media. RCMP senior management is nowhere to be seen. I take this opportunity to speak about a multitude of issues that affect officer safety.
Following shifts. I wear a goatee. I have no stripe on my pants. I’m operational.
October 11th. I’m issued a negative performance log. I’m advised my comments were unnaceptable. I still don’t know which specific comments…. I digress. I have a goatee. I have no stripes on my uniform. I’m challenged about my goatee. I explain it’s related to the yellow stripe movement. I take this opportunity to discuss issues that affect officer safety.
October 13th. I’m contacted by the media over my social media posts and explain that I was issued a negative performance log. I take this opportunity to discuss issues that affect officer safety. I am on my days off.
October 16th. I return to work. I wear a goatee. I have no stripes on my pants. I go about my duties unfettered. I am operational.
October 17th. I wear a goatee. I have no stripes on my pants. I am operational. Halfway through my shift I am told to go home and shave. I respectfully refuse because of manpower issues and officer safety. I’m now told I’m to restrict myself to administrative duties. I’m in danger because it’s possible I would not get a proper seal should I need to use the issued mask. I dispute that I’m not yet issued a mask. Im told to report in civvies and restrict myself to admin duties tomorrow.
October 18th. My mask is delivered. I test the mask and show other members that I can form a proper seal. I ask to return to my operational duties. I am told to wait for direction. I finish my shift on admin duties.
October 19th. I am wearing civilian clothing and I have a goatee. I am restricted to admin duties. I again test the seal and I get other members to block the air intake. Good seal. I’m instructed to again get FIT tested because It was done erroneously the first time. I remain on admin duties until I can be retested.
I believe at this point that I am being targeted for speaking out against senior management. I believe I am being treated differently than other members of the RCMP. I believe the RCMP are using bully tactics in an attempt to silence and intimidate me. Why do I believe this?
***Prior to my comments in the media, I was able to work with a goatee, unfettered, nothing was ever said
***Prior to my comments to the media, I had always received positive assessments and performance logs.
***The RCMP explains that it is to keep me safe that I’m restricted to administrative duties.
***Of the approximately 18,000 RCMP members currently serving Canadians, how many members have been issued these particulate filer masks?
***Of the approximately 18,000 RCMP members currently serving Canadians, the members that have not received a mask, are they also being restricted to administrative duties for their safety?
***Are members with medical shaving exemptions also being restricted to administrative duties for their safety?
***Are members that do not shave for religious purposes also being restricted to administrative duties for their safety?
*** Is their safety not important?
***Should they be worried?
No. It’s posturing. It’s bullying. It has nothing to do with my goatee.
I again ask Senior Management of the RCMP to identify someone from within their ranks to address what we beleive to be the issues affecting us. Manpower, recruiting, retention, equipment, training, health and safety, member’s health, pay and compensation.
There will be no need for me to speak out if someone of ranks takes the buffalo by the horns.”
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