Recommendations handed down from Mayerthorpe inquiry

A number of recommendations have been released after the fatality inquiry into the murders of four Alberta Mounties in Mayerthorpe was made public earlier this week.

Const. Anthony Gordon, Leo Johnston, Brock Myrol and Peter Schiemann were shot while helping with a criminal investigation on the property of James Roszko near Mayerthorpe on March 3, 2005.

The tragedy marked the worst single-day loss of life in more than a century for the RCMP. Roszko later turned the gun on himself.

The public fatality inquiry, which began in January, concluded the RCMP acted appropriately and properly and that the ambush was a one-off shooting that couldn’t have been predicted.

A number of recommendations came out of the inquiry including the development of a threat assessment coordinator and the establishment of national policy guidelines for securing potential crime scenes.

The RCMP has already moved ahead with or will be moving forward on the recommendations.

The RCMP is reviewing its current firearms capabilities to evaluate whether members are adequately equipped to respond in the current threat environment.

The RCMP have also purchased hard body armour, which has started to arrive in divisions and will be worn by general duty members to meet specific elevated threats that would not be suitable for soft body armour.

The objective is to distribute more than 2,800 pieces of hard body armour before the end of March 2012.

The RCMP is also examining the safety of officers during the securing of crime scenes and determining if there are areas where improvements can be made.

The RCMP’s Critical Incident Program has developed a Threat/Risk Matrix which will help members assess whether a risk or threat exists, if it requires an operational plan and who to contact for one.

And finally, the RCMP’s Emergency Medical Response Teams (EMRT) are now in operation across all divisions.

Approximately 150 regular members have completed the new training standard which focuses on tactical casualty management.

Public inquiries are limited to establishing the cause, manner, time, place and circumstances of death. The judge may make recommendations on the prevention of similar occurrences but is prohibited from making findings of legal responsibility.

Recommendations from fatality inquiries are not binding and don’t assign blame.