Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The cheap little old bugger wouldn't even buy her a large Tim Hortons coffee to go with the cookies and Timbits!

RCMP just offered "cookies and Timbits," injured officer says

Injured RCMP officer says she was offered just 'cookies and Timbits' after suffereing back injury on the job

Peter Edwards Star Reporter
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Staff Sergeant Cheryl Gravelle required back surgery after she was injured on the job four years ago. She says she was threatened with dismissal for filing complaints about high-ranking officers over the handling of her injury.

An RCMP dispute resolution co-ordinator has blasted the national police force for offering her little more than “cookies and Timbits” regarding her own serious on-the-job injury.

The Star has obtained a series of increasingly testy emails between Mountie Commissioner Bob Paulson and Staff Sergeant Cheryl Gravelle, who required back surgery after she was injured on the job four years ago.

The 22-year veteran was hurt while grappling with a mentally disturbed man who entered the lobby of her Nova Scotia detachment.

Gravelle complained of her workload as she was eased back into the job, and later also complained about what she considered unfair treatment from senior officers.

She went public to the Star in October 2012, complaining she was threatened with dismissal for filing complaints about high-ranking officers over the handling of her injury.

Paulson said he feels Gravelle can still be a valuable member of the force and wants her to remain a Mountie.

“I think the officer who wrote her that, knew her or was an acquaintance of hers, and was genuinely trying to help her find her suitable employment so she could get back to work,” Paulson said in an email.

“It’s always delicate communicating with people who are off duty to get them to participate in getting back on the job, but from what I saw I thought the member’s motives were pure.

“Frankly, we’re all trying to help her get back to work,” Paulson said. “All of the officers who she complained about have retired or left the Force and we are committed to moving forward and getting her back to work.”

Gravelle’s original comments to the Star a year ago came at a sensitive time for the force, as a Commons committee was studying Bill C-42. The bill eventually gave RCMP managers new powers for disciplining officers.

Immediately after Star reporter Tonda MacCharles contacted a senior officer for a comment on October 5, 2012, Gravelle received an email from a senior officer telling her he had been “ ‘informed’ that her job had been civilianized,” according to the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada.

In a prepared statement, the association said: “She was subject to extreme abuses of position and process by her direct supervisors while trying to receive treatment and subsequently when she returned to duty in January 2012.”

In a November 19, 2013, email to Paulson, Gravelle said a senior officer who was supposed to handle her case was patronizing to the extreme.

“He offered to take me out for ‘cookies and Timbits,’ ” Gravelle wrote. “All that is missing was a pat on my head. I am dealing with serious actions of unethical behaviour and abuse of authority by certain members of the SEC (Senior Executive Committee) at this time. I have to tell you that I am tired of being treated like a naïve little girl.”

In a September 12, 2013, email, Gravelle expressed frustration at what she considers the bias of a senior officer handling her case.

She also was clearly upset with Paulson’s dismissal of her case and the tone of his emails to her, including how he addressed her as “sergeant” rather than her more senior rank of “staff sergeant.”

“You may choose to yell at me in italics and get my rank wrong in an attempt to dismiss me,” she wrote. “However, I feel that it is pretty clear that misconduct has occurred. . . . You never address or attempt to explain any of the concerns raised in my previous emails even though I have written proof to support my courage of convictions. I strongly disagree with your position.”

Less than three hours later, Paulson replied: “Honest mistake S/Sgt, I’m sorry. Doesn’t mean I’m trying to dismiss you. I didn’t yell at you in italics. You may feel misconduct has occurred, and you may disagree with my findings, you are entitled. I have decided that no misconduct occurred.

“Some day you will have to come out of your rage. Let me know if I can help.”

“You have mistaken me,” Gravelle replied. “I am not in a rage. Conversely, I would think that any reasonable person reading this string would concur that you are the individual attempting to intimidate me.

Please don’t blame the victim.”


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