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News (Media Awareness Project) - Canada: RCMP Ends Link With Maricopa Sheriff's Office
Title:Canada: RCMP Ends Link With Maricopa Sheriff's Office
Published On:2012-01-31
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Fetched On:2012-02-03 06:01:33

Mounties were to be sent for training with Arizona force accused of
racial profiling

The RCMP has scrapped plans to send hundreds of officers to Arizona
for training in recognizing and testing drug-impaired drivers after
learning the sheriff 's office they had partnered with has been
accused of engaging in "unconstitutional policing."

A scathing U.S. Department of Justice report recently concluded the
Maricopa County Sheriff 's Office in Phoenix engages in racial
profiling of Latinos, unlawfully stops and arrests Latinos and
unlawfully retaliates against individuals who criticize the force.

An RCMP official stressed Monday that at no time were Maricopa County
sheriff 's officers going to be involved in teaching Canadians and
that the only role of the sheriff 's office's was to provide access to
people in custody who could be evaluated for drug-impairment.

Still, the seriousness of the allegations against the sheriff 's
office prompted the RCMP to cancel its training sessions in Arizona,
Inspector Allan Lucier said.

"It was almost immediate after having read the report that this would
not be a facility that we would associate ourselves with," he said.
"That just didn't meet our test."

As Postmedia News reported in December, the Mounties had planned to
spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to run six work-shops - each
three weeks long - in the Arizona city between April 2012 and March
2013 to train a few hundred RCMP, provincial and municipal police
officers to detect and test drug-impaired drivers.

Under a Canadian law, which came into effect in July 2008, an officer
who suspects a driver may be impaired by drugs can demand that that
driver perform a test of their co-ordination skills. If the driver
fails that test, the officer can compel the driver to go to the police
station for a lengthier evaluation by a drug-recognition expert.

Several hundred Canadian officers have gone through the RCMP's
training work-shops, which consist of two weeks of classroom
instruction followed by one week of field certification, which
requires officers to complete seven to 10 evaluations of drug-impaired

The field-certification portion had been done in con-junction with the
Maricopa County Sheriff 's Office since 2007.
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