Artist's rendering of the new B.C. RCMP headquarters in Green Timbers Urban Forest.

EDITORIAL: Cheers to RCMP bar

Outside the context of recent Mountie wrongdoing, would the idea of a licensed mess hall have been that big a deal?

Last Monday, Surrey council did not offer support for a liquor application by RCMP E-Division for its new B.C. headquarters being built in Green Timbers Urban Forest.

The Mounties want to carry on a long-standing tradition of having a licensed mess hall available for members. (A bar exists at the current B.C. RCMP headquarters in Vancouver, which is moving to Green Timbers).

Whether this issue moves forward given the public’s reaction (mostly negative) remains to be seen; the RCMP is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, so it has the power to put in a pub whether or not the City of Surrey or province agree.

But there’s the optics.

At a time when the national police force is in the spotlight and under the microscope for several serious missteps – sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, assault and impaired driving among them – ramming a bar through the red tape might not sit well with stakeholders.

However, outside the context of recent Mountie wrongdoing, would the idea of a licensed mess hall have been that big a deal?

Police perform a dangerous, stressful, often gruesome job that entails long hours, little sleep and sparse thanks. After a shift, being able to decompress with comrades who understand the challenges unique to the profession can not only lighten the load, it can be life-saving.

Back in the day, hashing it out over a cold one with a partner was all that passed for critical incident debriefing. Although more formal intervention policies are now in place, that doesn’t erase the need for connecting with co-workers – something that in the case of police officers and the sensitive nature of their work can’t always be done in community spaces.

Besides, not all cops consume alcohol. A licensed mess hall would provide a safe, central gathering place for both imbibing and teetotaling Mounties and their guests.

As long as members and visitors are held to a zero-tolerance rule of no drinking and driving, bring on the bar.

newsroom@surreyleader.com

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In 2019, roughly one person died every three days in Surrey due to illicit drug overdoses

123 people died in the city in 2019, down from the previous year

BC Liberals firing at NDP due to fact new Surrey hospital not in budget

But Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims says business case is needed first

United Nations designates Surrey a ‘Tree City’

Surrey is one of 59 cities in the world to receive the designation

White Rock seeks assistance for park rain damage

City applies for provincial funding following closure of Ruth Johnson Park and ravine

Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 14

Brayden Ritchat, 14, last seen in the 10800-block of 141st Street in Whalley on Feb. 21

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read