Sunday, 13 July 2014
The Doc and the Cops. pt 2.
Part 2. The Mounties and me.
The following week Mike booked Sergeant Peters in for a half hour chat with me when the clinic was finished. Mike was determined that the clinic was going to be finished in time for the
meeting. He had been an orderly in the Army Medical Corps, knew a surprising amount of medicine and virtually ran the small Post Hospital when there was no doc around, which was most of the time. He had more than once saved me a middle of the night call, with a terse message such as, "Just admitted a young lad with a high temperature and septic spots on his tonsils. I thought I'd start him on some penicillin tonight and have you see him in the morning, unless you want to come out tonight." I don't have to tell you which I chose!
I arrived a little early on that morning to find Mike addressing all the recruits who were waiting to be seen. As I approached the door, unseen by him this is what I heard.
"Now the doctor is very busy with important business today. I don't want any of you wasting his time. If there's nothing wrong with you get out of here and if there is make it short and sweet."
"Yes sir," a chorus
I noticed a couple shrink away and slip out of the door. They didn't mess with Mike. Mike made sure as I knew he would, to see that the clinic ended a few minutes before the meeting with Sgt Peters was due to begin. The sergeant got down to business without wasting time.
"What we really need Doc, is a doctor who would do body searches, examinations for drugs and alcohol and various other medical examinations that we occasionally need for evidence."
"So in practical terms, what would that actually involve?" I asked.
"A flight comes into Regina, either a scheduled commercial one or a private one and we might have cause to suspect there's something funny going on so we pick up a guy and need to make sure he's not carrying illegal contraband, most commonly drugs That's when we might need to call on you," he responded. "We need someone to assess whether it is appropriate or necessary to do a body search on these individuals and just how far it's necessary to
go. It may even require a rectal or vaginal examination or sigmoidoscopy. I know you are well aware that if we were to do too many of these sorts of exams we'd have all the left wing lawyers
raising bloody hell, and all of these guys walking, " he said angrily.
I found myself in sympathy with Sgt. Peter's frustrations. Funny, because in those days I considered myself a liberal.
"Yes, I know what you mean. Don't worry, I'll use good judgment and if I consider the search necessary I'll proceed with it and if I don't I won't."
Sergeant Peters paused and looked at me as though considering whether he had chosen the right man for the job.
Then he said, "If you were going to do some work of this sort for us, for your own protection it would be necessary for you to make it clear to the prisoner that you're functioning as an RCMP officer and not as the patient's personal physician."
"Yes, I can see that," I answered.
He continued, "in order to protect you as well as ourselves it is important for the prisoner and his legal counsel to realize that the physician under these circumstances is working for the RCMP."
"Yes, if the prisoner didn't agree to that, I could do nothing anyway or it would be construed as an assault."
"Exactly," said Sergeant Peters, "I have talked this over with my superiors and they suggested that we a enlist you as a special constable, which would make your role very clear."
"And I suppose that a handsome salary goes along with being a special constable," I smiled, because I could see that Sergeant Peters wasn't sure how seriously to take me.
"No, I'm afraid not sir," he said formally. However we do have a budget that would let us pay you a reasonable fee on a fee-for-service basis."
To cut a long story short after filling in the appropriate forms and going through the mandatory security check I was duly appointed a special constable in the RCMP.
Part 3 next week.