In the Line of Duty, Vol. 2: From Fort Macleod to Mayerthorpe

Description

334 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
$75.00
ISBN 1-897113-35-8
DDC 363.2'092'271

Year

2005

Contributor

Reviewed by Graeme S. Mount

Graeme S. Mount is a professor of history at Laurentian University. He
is the author of Canada’s Enemies: Spies and Spying in the Peaceable
Kingdom, Chile and the Nazis, and The Diplomacy of War: The Case of
Korea.

Review

In an era when the RCMP is vilified for its mistakes with regard to the
bombing of Air India Flight 182, pepper spray at the APEC conference,
the Maher Arar torture case, and the pension scandal, the history of the
RCMP is nevertheless one of which Canadians can be proud. The RCMP has
attracted, and continues to attract, some very fine recruits who risk
their lives so that others may live in safety. As recently as 2005, four
RCMP officers died at the hands of a psychopath in Alberta.

This book revisits the lives of the 188 officers who were murdered,
drowned, died during military or police service, or died in an air or
car accident between 1873 and 1991, who were featured in first volume,
and profiles the 21 officers who died in the line of duty between 1990
and 2005. Accompanying the profiles are pictures of the individuals, off
and on the job, alone, and with their loved ones.

Some of the cases are rather surprising. The 186th officer to die,
Corporal Derek J. Flanagan, was killed in Thailand as part of an “RCMP
undercover team attempting to make a heroin bust.” Who knew that the
RCMP undertakes drug busts in Thailand? The 193rd officer, Constable
L.J. Franзois Carriиre, died while working with the RCMP Underwater
Recovery Team. The recent dead include a woman, a Metis, a Chinese
Canadian, and several French Canadians. It is highly appropriate for
someone to express appreciation to the families of these people.

Yet, In the Line of Duty is a hagiography, not a history of the RCMP.
Its purpose is to honour those officers who died on the job, and in
doing so it cites only their virtues and achievements. If this were
one’s only source of information, one would think that the
controversial Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli spent his time in office
attending funerals and comforting the bereaved. For information about
misguided attempts to spy on Canadian universities during the Cold War
or to break the law while monitoring Quebec separatists, one must turn
elsewhere.

Citation

Knuckle, Robert., “In the Line of Duty, Vol. 2: From Fort Macleod to Mayerthorpe,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 29, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16680.