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Legendary Calgary cop retires after decades of terrifying reporters

While Reuser’s set to retire May 1 after a distinguished and storied 46 years on the job, stories about him will be told in offices and squad cars for years to come.

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Calgary Police Service. Insp. Frank Reuser was already a legend when I began writing for the Calgary Sun in 1998.

While he’s set to retire May 1 after a distinguished and storied 46 years on the job, currently Calgary’s longest serving officer, stories about Reuser will be told in offices and squad cars for years to come.

I remember him as gruff; a disciplined man who spoke his mind in no uncertain terms.

Crime reporter Mike D’Amour

He also terrified most of the reporters in the city.

That posed a problem because Reuser was often the 2900 — the call numbers of a cadre of duty inspectors who were connected to, and oversaw, all that was going on in Calgary while on shift — and often a reporter’s first call after hearing various police-related incidents that screeched from the wall of scanners in most newsrooms.

Now, it was no secret the straight shootin’ Reuser did not easily suffer fools — a category into which we believed the seasoned copper put us all — and his gruff manner and zero tolerance for perceived BS was known to leave journalists shaking after hanging up the phone.

On one particularly hectic day, I brought a tray of coffee into the newsroom as I began my shift. Hadn’t taken my seat when my editor at the time — the Western Standard’s own Dave Naylor — told me to call the duty inspector to check out something he’d heard on a scanner.

I started to call, then my dialling finger stopped in mid-punch over the numbers of the phone. “Who,” I asked, “is the 2900 right now?” Naylor just smiled, and I knew.

“OK, I said, “but I’m telling you if he’s an (expletive) to me one more time, I’m going to tell him where he can shove it and be done with it.”

I completed dialling and had barely introduced myself when Reuser laid into me for having the temerity to even contact him.

That was it.

I looked across my desk at Naylor, shrugged my shoulders and thought of all the nasty things with which I was going to blast that hard-headed cop.

“Listen Frank …” I began. It was at that moment I looked down to see one unclaimed Timmy’s in the cardboard tray.

“Listen Frank,” I continued, “would you like to come to the newsroom for a coffee?”

A long pause on the other end of the phone. “I’ll be there in 15,” Reuser snapped, before abruptly ending the call.

He was at the paper in 14 minutes and — I swear this is true — all the chatter and other normal sounds heard in the newsroom stopped in that moment as everyone stared at the legendary cop.

Reuser didn’t seem to notice and sat at the desk next to me, tore the plastic top from the paper cup and immediately laid into me.

“You guys are lazy,” he said. “You call us, but can’t be bothered to get off your fat asses to check things out yourself.”

I explained to Reuser that without more staff, we had to pick and choose the calls we chased and calls to the 2900 were necessary to suss out the importance of the various reports we picked up on the scanners, or from from tips.

Reuser and I went back and forth for a while, then settled into a conversation that lasted more than three hours.

We shook hands when we parted, each with a better understanding of the other’s job. I’d like to say it was smooth sailing with the inspector after our visit, but it wasn’t.

Yet I will say Frank toned it down a bit when we called, and we reporters became a little more circumspect when choosing stories to contact him about. Over the course of the next several years, I had plenty of contact with Reuser and found him to be thoughtful and sensitive.

That became abundantly clear later on when I did a story about another inspector who was retiring. (Ring! Ring!) — “Hey Frank, it’s D’Amour,” I said. “What the hell do you want?” was the reply. “I’m calling about Pete’s retirement.” There was a brief pause, then Reuser started talking about his long-time pal.

It was evident from the emotion in Reuser’s voice that he did indeed have a big heart. I haven’t seen Frank in many years now, but I like to believe that when he does hand in his weapon and tin, he’ll spend at least a little time standing in his front yard with a hose, terrorizing the young punks while telling them to get the hell off his lawn.

Mike D’Amour was the former crime reporter for the Calgary Sun. He is now a freelance journalist living on Vancouver Island.

News

UCP launches independent probe into 2016 Grande Prairie hospital noose incident

“Racism and bigotry have no place in our health-care system,” said Health Care Minister Tyler Shandro

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The Alberta government has ordered an independent investigation after reports a noose was found hanging in a Grande Prairie hospital four years ago.

“In 2016, a piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital. In August of 2019, I was first made aware of this incident and was reassured by senior officials that the matter was being dealt with appropriately, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a statement Friday morning.

“Recently, individuals with first-hand knowledge of the incident have raised this matter again, questioning how AHS handled this matter in 2016. I share their concerns and I am not satisfied that this matter was handled appropriately.

“Racism and bigotry have no place in our health-care system. That’s why I am announcing an independent third-party investigation of how this matter was handled by Alberta Health Services.

“It also appears that the investigation was limited by medical staff bylaws that govern how AHS responds to complaints and disciplines staff. These bylaws have not been updated in more than a decade. Consequently, I have issued a directive requiring AHS to revise their bylaws within 60 days.

“Finally, I will be introducing legislation next week that will increase the number of public representatives on college councils, hearing tribunals and complaint review committees from 25 per cent to 50 per cent – which will increase the public’s oversight of health professions.

“These initial steps are only the beginning. The review, which will be made public, will undoubtedly bring further required changes to our attention. While it may be uncomfortable for some, Albertans demand and expect our health-care system to reject racism and intolerance. If our system failed, we will fix it.”

Former NDP health minister Sarah Hoffman said she was unaware of the incident.

“I am shocked and disgusted to learn of the violent, racist incident that occurred at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016. I want to be clear that I was not aware of this incident at the time. If I had been informed, I would have taken swift action and that doctor would have been fired immediately,” Hoffman said in a statement.

“My record on confronting racism is clear. In 2017, when two AHS employees used a racial slur against an Indigenous woman, we moved swiftly to dismiss them. 

“I am deeply concerned that Tyler Shandro, the current Health Minister, has known about this incident for nearly a year and he has not raised this publicly or acted. That’s not leadership. We must confront racism head on. We must be anti-racist.”


CBC reported, a white South African-born surgeon tied a noose and then taped it to the door of an operating room in the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

He told another doctor the noose was for a Black Nigerian-born surgical assistant, CBC said.

In a statement to CBC, the surgeon said: “Some years ago, as a foolish joke, I made what I considered to be a lasso and hung it in an operating room door. In no way was it intended to be a racist gesture.

“It was very quickly drawn to my attention by staff members that this was unacceptable I subsequently brought the matter to the attention of AHS and apologized both verbally and in writing to my colleagues.

“At the time, I did not appreciate the heinous symbolism behind the knot I created. I did undertake some self-study and I now have great insight into the symbolism here and I am terribly sorry and embarrassed about this incident.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Rebel UCP MLA Barnes blasts NDP motion on unity

“It’s part of Rachel Notley’s plan to work with her friend (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau,” said Drew Barnes.

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Rogue UCP MLA Drew Barnes says he will talk to his caucus colleagues before deciding how to vote on an upcoming NDP motion reject independence and support a united Canada.

The NDP said on Canada Day they would bring in the motion to the Legislature on Monday.

“I am very, very disappointed the NDP with the motion would try and diminish the role of Alberta within Confederation,” Barnes told the Western Standard on Thursday.

“It’s part of Rachel Notley’s plan to work with her friend (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau.”

Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Barnes said his concern with the NDP motion supporting Canada is it uses the phrase “always.”

“We heard it in the Fair Deal hearings and from my constituents loud and clear that there has to be serious discussions about Alberta with a (independence) referendum on the table,” Barnes said.

“I plan on being in the Legislature Monday and speaking on it – after I’ve had a chance to discuss it with my UCP colleagues.”

There have been calls for Premier Jason Kenney to kick Barnes out of caucus for saying a referendum on independence should be on the table for Alberta in any discussions with Ottawa to get a fairer deal for the province.

“Repeatedly, UCP Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes has, without challenge or objection  from Jason Kenney or any member of the UCP Cabinet and Caucus, supported the idea of Alberta separating from Canada,” the NDP said in a release on Canada Day.

“As well, UCP Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan read off a bizarre rant last month in the Legislature in which he referred to other Canadian provinces as, ‘hostile, parasitic partners.’”

Heather Sweet, NDP House Leader, said: “This motion will force Jason Kenney and the UCP to finally take a stand. Fanning the flames of separatism is this Premier’s way of distracting Albertans from his failed $4.7-billion corporate handout, which hasn’t created jobs or drawn in new investment.”

“Our caucus has been clear and open with Albertans in our support for a united Canada and unanimous in our belief that Alberta’s best interest lay within Canada. It is time for Jason Kenney and the UCP to finally be upfront with Albertans on this serious issue.”

Stephan couldn’t be reached for comment.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

CHAZ has fallen

“I was just stunned by the amount of graffiti, garbage and property destruction,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said.

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A notorious Seattle neighbourhood set up following the George Floyd rioting is back in the hands of police – with barely a whisper from protesters.

After two people – including a 16-year-old boy – were shot and killed around the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone – police moved in on Canada Day and cleared up the area.

The police also reclaimed their abandoned precinct, which the protesters had been using as their headquarters.

Bulldozers with police protection moved in and destroyed protesters’ camps which had been set up June 8.

At least 31 people were arrested at the CHAZ zone where crime has risen by more than 500 per cent in just over three weeks. 

“Finally. Twenty-some days and several deaths too late. The rule of law must not fade in and out with the fashions of the radical left,” Senate Majority Leader McConnell tweeted.

Police said they found “recovered improvised spike strips” with the area.

Seattle police tweeted: “Because suspects in recent shootings may still be in the area, and because numerous people in the area are in possession of firearms, Seattle Police officers involved in this morning’s response will be equipped with additional protective gear.”

Police chief Carmen Best said: “Our job is to support peaceful demonstration but what has happened on these streets over the last two weeks is lawless and it’s brutal and bottom line it is simply unacceptable.

“(CHAZ) has become lawless and brutal. Four shootings, two fatal, robberies, assaults, violence and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area.

“I was just stunned by the amount of graffiti, garbage and property destruction,” Best said.

Thousands of protesters – many hailing from the far-left ANTIFA terrorist organization – took over the six-square block area of Seattle, where no police officers were allowed.

Just was just 24 hours a day of protesting, music, dancing and communing without a cop in sight, they quickly run out of food, putting out a plea for “vegan meat alternatives” and other soy-based food donations.

At the heart of the CHAZ is a Seattle police precinct, abandoned by officers and now being used by gun-tooting warlords who have established themselves as the new keepers of law and order.

CHAZ

They had a list of demands, including the “abolition” of the Seattle Police Department and its attached court system, free college for all people in the state, as well as “the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.”

The streets were apparently controlled by a hip hop artist-turned-warlord by the name of Raz Simone, who has established an armed private police force that does not hesitate to dole out beatings to communal scofflaws.

Another video shows Raz and friends confronting a man for making unauthorized graffiti on Raz’s turf, which results in the “police” stealing the man’s phone, breaking his glasses, and reportedly repeatedly kicking him in the head.

“We are the police of this community here now,” the man is told before the beating.

The video reveals Raz’s gang telling the man, “For your own safety, you need to go,” and “You might need a little love tap” before seeming to assault him.

The vandal is then ordered to hand over his phone as tribute to Raz, under the threat of more violence. “You just broke my glasses! I’m blind! You just broke my glasses and stole my phone!” the man pleads, before being told, “Yeah, we should have broken your face.”

“Don’t be making no threats … I’ll blow your brains out,” Raz says.

In other sections of CHAZ, there were tents with supplies for volunteer medics as well as food donated by local restaurants, along with fruit, snacks and water bottles.

“The scene here is peaceful as hell,” said a demonstrator who identified herself as Jahtia B.

“This is our city. I was born and raised in this city. Let’s give it to the people, the people who live in Seattle and have been thriving here,” she told AFP news agency.

Seattle City Councillor Kshama Sawant disputed accounts of violence or intimidation by protesters within the area and said it was more like a street fair with political discussions and a drum circle.

CHAZ occupiers

“The right wing has been spreading rumours that there is some sort of lawlessness and crime taking place at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, but it is exactly the opposite of that,” said Sawant, 

U.S President Donald Trump and Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan engaged in a war of words over the Zone.

“Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will,” Trump warned Durkan and Washington state governor Jay Inslee – both Democrats – in a tweet, calling the protesters “domestic terrorists” who have taken over Seattle.

“This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped (sic) IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST,” he said in another tweet.

Durkan replied, telling Trump to “go back to his bunker” a reference to when Trump sheltered in the White House bunker after D.C protests and riots got too close.

Inslee tweeted: “A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. ‘Stoop’ tweeting.”

CHAZ

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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