Been There, Done That

The sisters of 21-year-old Shane Jimrattie, whose body parts where discovered in garbage bags in the back of SUV vehicle in Rosemont, say they had to conduct their own investigation into the disappearance of their brother because police were reluctant to get involved in the case.

“We solved our own crime,” Jacynta, 19, told The Montreal Gazette yesterday.

Michel Cote, a 4-year-old carpenter and part-time janitor was charged with second-degree murder and with improperly or indecently treating human remains.

” [The killer] would have taken the garbage bags and buried him somewhere and we would have to wait 10 years, not knowing if he was dead or alive.”

Getting my two-cents on this is preaching to the choir (a really small choir in some obscure church in Shawinigan) , you can pretty much guess what I’m going to say in the next paragraph. Here it goes…

Quebec law enforcement – be they SQ, MUC or some other regional outfit – are truly a unique breed. On a one-to-one basis they are much the same as other police; there are good cops, there are bad cops, there are big fat lazy cops that all their resources interviewing 90 college students when they should be looking for killers in their own backyard… but I digress.

On a macro-level I have never quite encountered anything like the stifling bureaucracy of Quebec police who must contend with excessive procedures and official twaddle; in-fighting force-to-force, unit-to-unit, officer-to-officer; systemic redundancy; and an arcane communications system and technology. Pick your weapon of whatever ails any modern corporate institution and the gears of Quebec police’s criminal investigative abilities come to a grinding halt. Representatives of Quebec’s Minister of Justice and Public Security have been aware of these problems for years but have never been politically motivated to remedy the broken system (my argument is that good old pangs of conscience should be enough to get you off your ass, but that’s just me)

It’s not that Quebec police are devoid of creative thinkers, rather any idea, any innovation that is generated needs to be reproduced in triplicate and filed with the appropriate parties; wait thirty days and maybe you’ll get a response.

Look at Ontario police and you will find them much more nimble in reacting to problems with individual ideas appropriate to the situation. Quebec police are good at some things; the annual labour day speeding ticket rodeo, the province wide drug shakedown, (which I would argue creates more chaos and crime)… the easy fruit.

But one of these days a case is going to come along that will so clearly demonstrate the failings and vulnerabilities of a broken police force that the province will have no choice but to reform itself. Until then, we wait.

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