Barry Bradley’s Old Newspaper Clippings

Photograph of RCMP roadside check (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).





Throughout his career in the Force (1960 – 1995), Veteran Barry Bradley developed a newspaper scrapebook containing notable news stories about the RCMP in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.




Each week, we will post three or four of these old newspaper clippings for the interest of Veterans and their families. This week’s webpage includes an example of bravery on the part of a RCMP Merrit Detachment member and several articles relating to RCMP traffic enforcement and the close scrutiny by the provincial government minister of highways – ‘Flying’ Phil Gaglardi.

COOL MOUNTIE GETS HIS MAN: Silver Tougue Spikes Gun

MERRIT (October 26, 1964) – A Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant walked alone into a barricaded house and talked a man into giving up his loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

The persuasive tongue of Sgt. Gordon Graham (Reg.#16506 – ex-BC Provincial Police member) ended two hours of suspense after the man locked himself in his house and threatened to kill anyone who came near.

“I don’t even remember what I said,” Sgt. Graham said today.

“When you are looking down the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun you don’t worry much about what you are saying. But it worked, anyway.”

Grahma said the trouble began Friday evening when the man broke into another house search for his estranged wife.

In the next 2 1/2 hours:

He was chased at high speed through the streets of Merritt to his own home.

He held two RCMP officers at gunpoint when they tried to arrest him.

And a police car rushed 60 miles from Kamloops with tear gas equipment to flush him out if necessary.

Sgt. Graham said police were called after the man broke into the house where his wife was staying and assaulted the owner of the house.

“When our patrol car arrived the man jumped into his won car and raced off,” the sergeant said.

“Our car wasn’t able to catch him before he reached his house half a mile away and the two officers in the car followed him when he ran inside.

“They told him he was under arrest, but he grabbed a shotgun and told them to leave.

“They left.” The officers were Const. Don Ogilvie and Const. Bill Bishop.

Sgt. Grahm said friends of the gunman called him on the telephone and tried to talk him into giving himself up.

When that failed, officers prepared to move in with tear gas.

But the sergeant said he decided to make one last attempt to get the man out peaceably.

“I walked up to the house and knocked on the door,” he said. “He opened the door and waved the shotgun, but he allowed me to go inside.”

Half an hour later the door opened and the sergeant and his prisoner stepped outside.

“Tom McKnight, 33, appeared in court early Saturday charged with breaking and entering.

He was remanded eight days for a psychiatric examination.

RCMP MAN BACKS GAGLARDI’S CLAIM: More Traffic Patrols Needed, And Force Is Properly Trained

1960s - Photograph of a RCMP roadside check in British Columbia (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

1960s – Photograph of a RCMP roadside check in British Columbia (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

(December 16, 1964 – The Vancouver Sun) – A top RCMP officer Tuesday agreed with Highways Minister Phil Gaglardi’s claim there should be more police traffic patrols on B.C.’s highways.

But Supt. G.R. Engel (Reg. #12354 – O.399) denied Gaglardi’s claims that th force isn’t interested in traffic enforcement.

Engel, head of the RCMP’s Criminal Investigation Branch for B.C., said the force has a keen interest in all aspects of traffic work and it has been handling these duties in Bc. more than 14 years.

“We’re fully aware of the requirements and attempt to fulfill them with the limited manpower available to us,” he said.

Gaglardi called for police powers for the provincial government’s highway patrol and claimed the RCMP is not primarily trained for trafic work.


Engel said in a prepared statement in Victoria the RCMP has 97 men on traffic enforcement on provincial highways and freeways, and 45 men on traffic duties in municipal areas.

“We’re fully aware of the need for constant patrolling and to illustrate this our patrol units have averaged 290,000 miles per month for the past six months,” he said.

Each member of the RCMP highway patrol works an average 50-hour week, or 200 hours a month, he said.

Engel suggested Gaglardi’s claims leave the impression RCMP traffic patrol officers aren’t adequately trained. He said:

“Our force is very conscious of the need for traffic training, and members in B.C. have been given special training at the best traffic schools in North America.

“All our highway patrol members are given special traffic law enforcement training.”

The average RCMP traffic officer in B.C. today has been on the force nine years, of which 5 1/2 years have been in highway patrol work, Engel said.

The force has checked 180,000 vehicles in the past six months and has issued 29,000 slips requiring check-ups and correction of various faults found in the vehicle.


In addition, Engel said, there have been 24,000 prosecutions in the the past six months.

When asked if he felt there should be more RCMP officers assigned to traffic, he declined comment saying that would be a matter of negotiation between the B.C. and federal governments and the force.


(December 16, 1964 – The Vancouver Sun) – A provincial highway patrol would be inefficient and uneconomic, Attorney-General Robert Bonner said Tuesday.

He indicated in an interview that he takes little stock in the suggestion of his cabinet colleagues, Highways Minister P.A. Gaglardi, to form one.

Gaglardi said Monday that B.C. should have a highway patrol with police powers and said RCMP, who now police most B.C. municipalities, are not trained primarily for traffic duties.

“It is nto a goo idea to fragment your police forces,” Bonner said. “A separate highway patrol would be more expensive and less efficient than the present system.”

Bonner said RCMP can combine traffic and other duties. “They are economic an efficient on that account alone,” he said.

He said the RCMP now police the province under an arrangement whereby the federal government pays 60 percent of the cost and the province 40 percent.

“On pure economy, nothing can match this service so far as taxpayers are concerned,” he said.

He said a police force dealing with traffic only would be very expensive.

Bonner said the legal questions of establishing a provincial force are beside the point.

“Establishing one is simply not the contemplation at this time.”

He said he has not heard of any discussion at any level about the highway patorl.

Bonner is the cabinet minister in charge of negotiating RCMP policing arrangements with the federal government.

IN BC – First RCMP Freeway Unit Set Up

1968 - Photograph of a RCMP Traffic Motorcycle class - taken at the Cloverdale Rodeo grounds in Surrey, BC (Source of photo - Mert Rowden).

1968 – Photograph of a RCMP Traffic Motorcycle class – taken at the Cloverdale Rodeo grounds in Surrey, BC (Source of photo – Mert Rowden).

VICTORIA – The first freeway patrol section of the RCMP in Canada is being setup in B.C. and will be fully mobilized on Lower Mainland expressways within weeks.

The 25-man patrol will operate along the Trans-Canada Highway from Horseshoe Bay to Hope and from Richmond to the U.S. border on the Deas Thruway.

It will work with existing provincial highways department patrols already stationed on the freeways.

The RCMP patrol will borrow helicopters from the B.C. forest service to police trouble spots during peak traffic.

“This is an indication of very serious way in which we are looking at the traffic problem in B.C.” said RCMP Assistant Commissioner D.R. Forrest.

The highways department now operates what is called a courtesy patrol on freeways, but the patrol doesn’t possess regular police powers.

Under the new scheme, the RCMP will handle enforcement and the highways department will keep the freeways clear of stalled vehicles and provide motorists with information.

An RCMP Official said transfer orders have already been issued to the 25 B.C. officers.