New Brunswick

RCMP to act on all recommendations in Moncton shooting report

The RCMP is promising to learn from the Moncton shootings on June 4 and says all of the recommendations in the MacNeil Review will be acted upon, with a public update on progress within one year.

Commissioner Bob Paulson says action already begun on 64 recommendations from Alphonse MacNeil Review

The RCMP is promising to learn from the Moncton shootings on June 4 that killed three officers and wounded two others.
Commissioner Bob Paulson released the RCMP's response to a review of the Moncton shootings on Friday promising that all 64 recommendations will be acted on. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

On Friday, the RCMP said all of the recommendations in a review by retired assistant commissioner Alphonse MacNeil will be acted upon, and promised to keep the public updated on their progress.

The MacNeil Review includes 64 recommendations.

In the RCMP response, Assistant Commissioner Bob Paulson says deadly threats to police are not going to go away.

"It is our obligation — our duty — to make sure that we can be as prepared as humanly possible to meet these threats, having regard for who we are and where we live," Paulson said.

Improvements to training and equipment

The RCMP is currently looking at whether carbine training and "immediate action rapid deployment" training should become part of the mandatory cadet curriculum offered at the RCMP Training Academy.

"This would ensure all members arriving at their posts would be fully trained and prepared to deal with an active shooter situation," says the RCMP response.

RCMP are also trying to speed up the delivery of patrol carbine training by assigning three officers to each instructor in training programs rather than the current ratio of two officers to one instructor.

The MacNeil Review noted that despite the fact that hard body armour was available in marked patrol vehicles and in an equipment room on the night of June 4, none of the officers who responded early on were wearing the protective gear.

One of the wounded officers said she would have put on her hard body armour had she been given better information, while other members said they were unfamiliar with the new protective equipment.

In its response, the RCMP says it will ensure all RCMP members receive a briefing and demonstration on how to handle, maintain and wear hard body armour, as recommended.

Changes to police communication

The RCMP says it is already acted on communications issues that are detailed in the MacNeil Review.
Alphonse MacNeil released his review of the fatal Moncton shootings on Friday which includes 64 recommendations. (CBC)

There were problems on June 4 with critical transmissions being inaudible when more than one member was trying to use the radio at the same time because the system used by the detachment allows users to talk over other transmissions.

Paulson says RCMP are also reviewing the recommendation that officers be allowed to use plain language to communicate during critical situations.

The MacNeil report details how, as the situation on June 4 became chaotic, RCMP members were talking over one another, using lengthy codes and the phonetic alphabet, which was ineffective and time consuming.

"Information on members' positions lacked clarity and prevented other members from making informed risk assessments, in turn hindered the ability for supervisors to manage the incident," says the review.

Update promised in 1 year

While implementation of some of the recommendations is already underway, Paulson is promising to keep the public up to date on progress.

"A few of the recommendations will require a more complex response and substantial follow-up," he said.

Paulson also promised on Friday to report to the public in one year on the implementation status of all 64 recommendations.

The New Brunswick government is reviewing the report and recommendations, Public Safety Minister Stephen Horsman said in a statement Friday afternoon.

"We look forward to working together with them on implementation," he said.

But the government will await the completion of two other reports before deciding on the appropriate next steps, said Horsman.

The Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Team and Employment and Social Development Canada are conducting the ongoing reviews, which are both mandated by the Canada Labour Code.

The RCMP says it is co-operating fully with both reviews.

The reports are expected "in the coming months," said Horsman.