Attitude, Attitude, Attitude 2/4

Written by Harold McNeill on January 22nd, 2012. Posted in Police Notebook


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Domestic Disputes: These disputes can be among the most difficult and dangerous calls to attend.

Note: This is Part 2 of the series.  Go to Different Strokes for Part 1

Introduction

The Saanich PD Constable stood in the living room of a Cadboro Bay residence facing down two angry people. It was evident by his words and actions that this meeting was not likely to have a happy ending. Meanwhile, his Sergeant was sitting, watching and waiting as chaos slowly enveloped the scene.

There was obviously more to the Sergeant’s inaction than I could at first discern. As I had just arrived on the scene as a back-up, it would take a few minutes to understand why the Sergeant was waiting and watching. We struck up a conversation and both watched through the picture window facing the street.

The reason I was here, is that with three borders (Oak Bay, Saanich, and Victoria) we always covered for each other on such calls as we all knew officers could end up at the scene alone. As our radio systems were on the same channel, we always knew what was going on in each others territory.

The Call

When I arrived, two Saanich police cars were parked on the street with the Saanich Sergeant quietly sitting in his unit. The engine was off and he was having a cigarette as I walked to the driver’s door. I didn’t even have to ask if they needed help as that was obvious. Through the picture window of a house across the street, we could see the another Saanich officer, (he had arrived before the Sergeant) who was standing in the living room facing down a man and woman who were in the midst of a heated argument.

The Sergeant told me: “Just watch this. I have worked with this man for several months and he simply doesn’t understand that the reason he becomes involved in so many confrontations, is related to his attitude.” As we continued to watch the man and woman continued to argue as if the Constable was not even in the room.  As soon as the officer started to speak, his hand gestures and pointing fingers suggested he was angry and was lecturing the couple.

Slowly the man, then the woman, turned their attention toward the officer and as the officer continued, their anger slowly shifted from each other to the officer. He, in turn, responded in kind.  As the woman became more animated, she lightly pushed the officer on the chest with her finger. That was clearly the wrong move lady.

At first the man tried to pull his wife back, but clearly, the officer was not going to stop short of dragging the woman out of the house under arrest for assault. The husband now turned his full attention to the officer and all three began to wrestle. As they fell to the floor, they disappeared from view.

The Sergeant climbed out of his car and as he walked to the front door stated: “Just give me a minute I better go sort this out before someone gets hurt.”  He was not in the house more than a minute or two and everyone was again standing. The scene calmed as the Sergeant remained between the Constable and the two residents. As the Sergeant continued to speak, the couple continued to nod. The Sergeant then turned to the Constable, said something, and the Constable left the house.

When the Constable came down beside me, he was obviously still very angry and still wanted to arrest one or both of the residents and that surely would have followed had he been left in charge. A few minutes later we could see the Sergeant shaking hands with the couple. He then departed the house.  The couple watched through the window as the Sergeant walked back to his police car.

Nothing further was mentioned, but it was clear the Sergeant was going to take the Constable aside and try to explain to him how he might want to change his attitude. While not every family dispute ends in this manner, it was clear the Sergeant had developed a good basic understanding of human behaviour and knew how to diffuse a potentially volatile situation. It was indeed a lucky group of Constables who had this man as their Patrol Sergeant.  The three of us chatted for a few minutes, the Constable slowly settled down and we departed on our routine patrols.

Link here to Part 3 Please Send a Police Car

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Comments

  • McNeill Life Stories How to Game an Election - McNeill Life Stories

    September 18, 2019 |

    […] The Federal Conservatives and Seymour Riding Association complied but one day later those memes will be shared by every third party social media site and by thousands of supporters where the message will be taken as a statements of the fact.  Five years from now those memes will still be circulating. (Link here to background on the SNC Lavalin matter) […]

  • Harold McNeill

    August 21, 2019 |

    For those who followed the earlier post about the cost of ICBC Auto insurance coverage in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (linked in comments) here is another follow-up article.

    This article again confirms earlier assertions that public-private insurers such as that which ICBC provides, is among the best in Canada in terms of rates and coverage. A link is provided in the original story.

  • Harold McNeill

    August 16, 2019 |

    Many thanks for reviewing the article Elizabeth. There are so many areas of our society in which populism carries the day, although I think what is happening with the ICBC is that groups having a vested interest in private insurance would dearly love to dislodge ICBC from their preferred position. That being said, I think was a good move to have only portions of the insurance coverage in BC being held by ICBC and other portions being made available through private enterprise.

  • Elizabeth Mary McInnes, CAIB

    August 15, 2019 |

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see a resident of British Columbia look to review all the facts over believing what is reported in the news or just following along with the negative stigma of the masses. Your article truly showcases that with a little reform to ICBC’s provincial system – British Columbia could be a true leader for other provinces in Canada. Very well written article!

  • Harold McNeill

    August 13, 2019 |

    August 13, 2019. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a private enterprise group not unlike the Fraser Institute, is again on the campaign trail. They state ICBC rates are the highest in Canada, but, thankfully, Global BC inserted a section indicating the Insurance Bureau cherry-picked the highest number in BC and the lowest numbers in AB, ON and other Eastern Provinces. If you take a few minutes to check reliable sources you will find BC rates, are the lowest in Canada.

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold