It’s hard to know what to make of a story that ran in the Daily Herald last week about a good Samaritan being detained for a time.
If you’re not familiar with the incident, here is the quick version of the story.
A city woman came upon a young man in obvious distress earlier this month. He was walking toward her when she realized he was in trouble. She helped the man, who had been stabbed, into a downtown building and had someone summon the police.
This is where things go south. And in the spirit of fairness to members of the Prince Albert Police Service, the woman has had other dealings with police and security guards that haven’t gone well.
A police officer asked her to sit in the back of his car to stay warm, something she objected to. She was then taken to the police station, where she was asked to hand over her jacket and cellphone.
She objects to the tone that was used with her.
“It would have been very nice to say, ‘Well, we need to talk to you, do you mind sitting in the police car?’ and then maybe after a while they came and said, ‘Well, we’re going to be a while yet, do you mind if we take you to a room at the police station and put you there?’ politely, and let you sit there and wait, instead of treating you like a criminal.”
It would be interesting to get the officer’s side of the story at this point, but the police service instead chose to release a statement.
“This file is still under investigation and no charges have been laid. (The woman) is not considered a suspect in the incident. She has since contacted the Service with concerns regarding her interaction with our officers and the matter is under review.”
She was eventually released from custody after giving a statement but now wonders if she would be as quick to help someone the next time.
If there’s anything approaching a happy ending in this story, it’s what the woman has to say about Prince Albert’s police Chief Troy Cooper, who she has chatted with since that day.
“We have a good understanding and I know that he’s dealing with it,” she said.
She wonders if junior officers take it as seriously.
The ideal solution to this is the opportunity that it serves to act as a teaching moment. If this woman could have been treated better, it’s a message that should be delivered to the rank and file, regardless of any dealings the police service may have had with her in the past.
There are a great many dedicated officers in this city who take their responsibilities seriously. If this incident helps them look at their job even a little differently, it will ultimately be worth the injured feelings.
Prince Albert Daily Herald