So now what? The last call was recited; the flags are flying at full mast.
Do we just give a pass to Police Chief Paul Ladouceur, Deputy Chief Murray Cowan and the board of police commissioners (at the time) who were complicit in the prolonged, constant attack on the late Jay Pierson? I think Jay deserves better.
This administration didn't just fail Jay, they targeted him and were relentless in their pursuit. Jay had an occupational stress injury; a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis from three mental health professionals that Ladouceur refused to accept and challenged at every turn. PTSD is treatable given proper acknowledgement, support and access to resources.
It is said that the best predictor or future behaviour is past behaviour. Based on that, Ladouceur and Cowan have clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted. I am concerned for any member who is currently struggling (or might struggle in the future) that they will suffer in silence because they feel they will be isolated, alienated or bullied by the very people empowered by the board.
You have an exceptionally well trained, professional police force that you expect to be at their best at all times, but they are not robots. They see, hear, smell and experience things that no amount of training can prepare them for. You should demand they are healthy and when they are not, they should not be ashamed or afraid to reach out.
There's a reason why head coaches of major league teams get fired. It's because the powers-that-be recognize the value and talent in their team and want to bring out their best. Shouldn't the board and council want the same?
Perhaps the only words people want to hear from him and Cowan are, "I resign.”
If you're so inclined, reach out to the members of the board of police commissioners and demand they do better. The current board consists of Roy Ludwig, Lindsay Clark, Shelly Veroba, Bernadette Wright and Geoff Thiessen. Meanwhile, if you encounter EPS members on the street, cut them some slack; they are all hurting, angry and grieving the loss of their friend and comrade.
To my brothers and sisters in blue, I'm only a phone call away.
Editor’s note: Audet is a former member of the Estevan Police Service.