Introduction to Criminals on Patrol: S1 EP1

by Dr. Pamela Palmater

Criminals on Patrol

Welcome to Criminals on Patrol a new podcast that exposes what goes on behind the “thin blue line” of policing all over North America. This podcast turns the crime podcast genre on its head and instead of following serial killers, we follow crooked cops. From police brutality, killer cops, and sexualized violence to drug dealing, human trafficking, and falsifying evidence, we will cover it all.

Criminals on Patrol is the culmination of more than two decades of legal, policy and social research on widespread police criminality, corruption, and cover-ups, as well as the shocking lack of accountability by police agencies. The many interviews, criminal cases, and investigations and reports, will provide ample evidence to dispel the myth of “a few bad apples” and blows open the dark side of the “thin blue line”.

Meet the Host

This podcast was researched and created by Dr. Pam Palmater – an Indigenous lawyer, professor, and author. She is a member of Eel River Bar First Nation – a part of the Mi’kmaw Nation – that has reserves (reservations) on both sides of the Canada-USA border.

Dr. Palmater has won many awards for her public education and advocacy activities around social justice issues. She is well-known as a legal expert on the human rights and public safety implications of law enforcement institutions that fail to hold criminal police officers to account. Her specific expertise relates to police interactions with Indigenous peoples, especially Indigenous women and girls.

Criminal Cops Cost $

Criminality in policing is well-known, yet transparency and accountability around what happens to crooked cops is severely lacking. In Canada alone, there are billions of dollars worth of individual civil suits and class actions against numerous police agencies, especially the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). We, the tax-payers (and victims) are the ones who ultimately foot the bill of police corruption.

Police forces not only abuse their own officers – especially female officers – but also represent a serious safety concern for the public. Indigenous women and girls have long reported being sexually assaulted by police – especially the RCMP – and Indigenous men and boys are far more likely to be targeted, brutalized and/or killed by police. The Black Lives Matter movement advocates against racial profiling, gratuitous police violence and the many killings of Black community members. These police crimes must end.

Why This Podcast?

It is long past time that police agencies were held to account for the many crimes and abuses committed by individual officers. It is time to confront the “thin blue line” and demand better for our communities. Decades of cultural sensitivity and gender sensitivity training courses have failed to end the abuses. The problem is not our culture nor our gender – the problem is crooked cops protected by other crooked cops and empowered by crooked leaders.

We have the collective power to force governments to act. Shining a light on the dark side of policing and getting rid of crooked cops is the only way to restore public trust. The police mantra “to protect and serve” no longer holds any meaning in society. Individual officers who care about human rights and the well-being of communities are leaving police forces in droves, and recruiters are seeing a drop in new applications. They will be their own undoing if they don’t act.

Who Should Listen?

This podcast is for people who enjoy educational podcasts about society, law and policy, but also for people who enjoy true crime podcasts with a twist. The days of glorifying cops arresting racialized people are over. It’s time to turn the focus back on crooked cops.

Ultimately, Criminals on Patrol is for people who care about human rights, public safety, and police accountability; as well as those who care deeply about the health, safety, and well-being of our communities. You will hear from former police officers, lawyers, Indigenous land defenders, Black Lives Matter, and policing experts, as well as learn about current cases and the findings and recommendations from numerous reports on policing.

The COP Blog will provide additional resources to accompany each episode so you can keep up with the latest news and happenings. Please consider subscribing to this podcast on your favorite podcast app, signing up for an Apple Podcast subscription, monthly Patreon subscription and/or YouTube membership for bonus content.

For more info…

For more information about the host of this podcast, Dr. Pam Palmater and access to her publications, check out her website.

You can also check out the new National RCMP Research Council – a group of activists, researchers, and academics who share concerns about the mythologization of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and its present day problems.