Shaleen Title has written a guest post for tomorrow that encourages current and former law enforcement officers to join our Speakers Bureau. First, however, I wanted to share this quotation with you:
"If the writer can, as he should, feel that he has the constitutional entitlement to free speech, he also needs to realize that my rights and those of police officers in this country are no less and he needs to come to terms with the fact that when we picked up our badge to serve the citizens of Canada, we did not at the same time surrender our rights to speak and be heard about issues that not only impact on our safety as police officers, but equally so on the safety of all Canadians."
This quotation is from Commissioner Julian Fantino, published March 2nd, 2009 in a letter to the editor for the Owen Sound Sun Times. As Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police - the second largest police force in Canada - he is in charge of 5600+ officers.
He was writing about the debate over conducted energy weapons (eg. Tasers) and not the legalization and regulation of drugs. But the principle is similar and the Commissioner's meaning is clear: police officers should not be afraid to speak publicly on issues that affect officer and citizen safety.