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Larry Lockwood

Seething with resentment

Larry Lockwood

Fired or retired shortly after this photo was taken, Larry Lockwood was loyal to the Old Boys' Club even if he was not allowed into its inner sanctum.

He has taken any lifting of the blue curtain of silence as a personal attack upon his tribe. In this instance, he arrested Richard Klassen on 8th Street and, had him locked in the back of a police car where he took the opportunity to harangue about what he considered to be injustices against his former comrades-in-arms: Dueck, Hatchen and Munson.

He raged against Darrell Night and told Richard Klassen he thought he was guilty of the crimes Dueck charged him with.

On November 6, 2004, the Star Phoenix reported that Lockwood, along with a police chaplain had organized the "show of support" for Larry Hartwig and Brad Senger.

Stan Goertzen, head of the Police Association, claimed the demonstration of support for the officers, who were fired yesterday, November 12, was "spontaneous."

If Lockwood's supervisor had not come by and ordered Lockwood to release and unarrest Klassen, we can only speculate where his spontaneity would have led him.

Disclosure on this file shows Lockwood states "Klassen was acting like he wanted to be shot." This phrase has apparently turned up in other disclosure on arrests of Klassen for traffic violations.

When tensions are high in the community it is the responsibility of the police to remain calm. The findings from the Stonechild inquiry and the Klassen/Kvello civil trial show that in 1991, the Saskatoon Police were out of control. Files were lost and grim police act crimes were done.

The public wants to know what really happened. Chief Russell Sabo had no choice but to fire Hartwig and Senger just as he had no choice but to suspend Deputy Chief Wiks. We could all calm down if we had any confidence they were going to tell the truth forthrightly and change their ways.

We don't want "group think" and we don't need "group amnesia." It just doesn't work.

The Internet has a long and accurate memory.

Police policies leading to more crime

The following is the viewpoint of the writer, a city resident and a retired member of the Saskatoon Police Service.

The Saskatoon police service's annual reports, published between 1997 and 2003, indicate crimes against persons and property (excluding impaired driving, drug offences and prostitution charges) have increased dramatically -- particularly since 2001 -- under the current police administration.

Between 1997 and 2002 the growth in crime against persons and property increased to 23,728, from 23,615 reported incidents -- a difference of 113 offences in five years. This represents a total increase of 0.48% (0.096% per year).

In the year 2002-2003, however, the incidents of crimes against persons and property climbed to 26,273 reported offences -- an increase of 15.52%.

Under the previous police administration, the largest annual growth between 1997 and 2001 occurred in the year 1999-2000, when crimes against persons and property increased by 2.43%. That stands in contrast to the record of this administration, with a rate 6.38 times greater.

In 2002 and 2003, the number of murders is up 33.33%, attempted murders up by 50 per cent, assaults by 4.73%, armed robberies 69.27%, robberies (including muggings) up by 20.59%, arson up by 56.44%, residential break and enters up 20.85 per cent and at businesses up 52.21%, motor-vehicle thefts by 40.66% and other thefts by 15.71% and charges for willful damage have increased by 21.40%.

How serious are these increases? If Chief Russell Sabo were to reduce the 15.52% rate of increase by even 50% to 7.76%, it would still result in there being 35,425 crimes in four years -- a total of 127,117 crimes in total between 2003-2007, or one crime for every 1.66 persons in Saskatoon.

And I doubt the administration could ever reach even this rate of slowed growth.

The police administration under Sabo's guidance is rapidly losing control, and one can't blame the rank and file or the police association. It is the policies of this administration that are allowing for this dramatic increase in crime.

Our police officers are already stressed to the limit with the authorized strength of 355 officers. If police numbers were to increase at a rate matching even the lowest estimate of crime growth of 7.76%, it would require the hiring of an additional 27.38 officers per year, let alone reduce crime.

If Sabo believes that changing the hours of work for the rank and file will somehow lower the number, he is wrong. If he feels that stripping the ranks to fill passive police positions to implement his vision of community policing initiatives (the same initiatives tried and discarded as unworkable during the '70s, '80s and '90s), he is also wrong.

It is also wrong to believe that bringing about retirements by creating dissension in the department will do anything more than result in eliminating experience. For example, five of us senior members retired this year with a combined 151 years of police experience.

One of Sabo's acting inspectors has less than four years of experience on the street.

When the police association passed a motion of non-confidence in this chief and the former board of police commissioners, it wasn't political posturing it was because the members saw the writing on the wall, and we knew what was about to befall the citizens of Saskatoon.