According to reports on Vancouver radio station CKNW, Vancouver Police Union President Tom Stamatakis “tore a strip off organizations like the Pivot Legal Society and Vancouver lawyers Cameron Ward and Phil Rankin for persecuting the police…Stamatakis said there seems to be a political agenda that goes beyond police conduct. He also blamed the media for ‘sensationalizing the stories.”

I confess. Mr. Stamatakis is right. I have an agenda. I want better policing in my city and I want a police force that the residents of Vancouver can trust and respect.

Mr. Stamatakis’ ire is misplaced. He should try to get his own house in order. I didn’t beat Michael Jacobsen in a jail cell and lie about it for years, I didn’t trash a house on Commercial Drive and try to cover it up, I didn’t beat people with batons outside the Hyatt Hotel, I didn’t beat Jeff Berg to death in an alley, I didn’t drag Frank Paul out of the jail and leave him to die, I didn’t assault people at the Guns ‘n Roses concert and I didn’t take three people to the woods of Stanley Park and beat them up. I speak out about these incidents because I consider that I have a duty to do so.

One can legitimately question whether the Vancouver Police Union serves the best interests of the residents of Vancouver. While Vancouver is not New York, the report of the 1994 Mollen Commission into police misconduct in that city may be instructive.

At page 66, the Commission wrote: “Unfortunately, based on our own observations and on information received from prosecutors, corruption investigators, and high-ranking police officials, police unions sometimes fuel the insularity that charachterizes police culture.”

And, at page 67: “In the course of corruption investigations and Departmental administrative proceedings, police unions suffer from a conflict of interest between protecting the interests of the individual officer and promoting the larger interests of their members. Consequently, according to Department managers and prosecutors, police unions help perpetuate the characteristics of police culture that protect corrupt officers.”

Methinks this union leader doth protest too much.