18 December 2007

The Mounties: reform the symbols?

While Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day deals with the much-needed administrative and structural reforms of the RCMP recommended by the Brown report (the Task Force Report on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP), he might also give a thought to reforming the force's symbols. Consider the name: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Mounted police? In the 21st century? The "Royal" might also be given some thought.

And does a modern police force need a dress uniform? Isn't this a symbol of the paramilitary nature of the Mounties that's at the root of many of their problems? At the very least, drop the riding boots (with spurs yet?) and the pseudo-cowboy hat. And do something about those breeches -- didn't they go out of style with Mussolini?

The first step in becoming a modern police force might just be looking like one.

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