Barry Bradley’s Old Newspaper Clippings

Photograph of S/Sgt. Barry Bradley at Surrey Detachment (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).




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 some interesting stories reflecting different aspects of activities in the RCMP. These stories would have been forgotten if not saved by Barry and to be shared with others.


Photograph of

Photograph of Constable John Draginda (Source of photo – Surrey RCMP Detachment).

November 16, 1974 (Vancouver Sun Newspaper) – A Surrey RCMP officer driving too fast and without sufficient emergency warning when he was involved in a collision Sept. 29 in which he and two other persons were killed, a coroner’s jury ruled Friday.

The jury, investigating the deaths of Constable John Draginda, 24, Donald Bahme, 34, and Bahme’s wife Lorraine, 31, recommended that both the siren and flashing lights should be operating on police cruiser exceeding the speed limit.

Coroner Doug Jack ruled the deaths unnatural and accidental and said cruisers should not be equipment with a switch on the steering wheel allowing the driver to turn the siren on or off at will. “The siren should be on continuously.”

The jury was told that Draginda, accompanied by auxiliary officer Kenneth Hughes, was responding to a reported traffic accident when his cruiser collided with the Bahme’s camper truck at the intersection of 152nd St. and 96th Ave.

Witnesses said the police cruiser was travelling at 70 to 80 m.p.h. when it went through a red light at 1 a.m.

Reports indicated the police vehicle had its red lights flashing but the siren was not being used.

Hughes and the Bahme’s 12-year-old daughter, Debra, received minor injuries.


August 9, 1985 (Vancouver Sun Newspaper) – MIAMI, Fla – An RCMP constable has been acquitted in his second trial on charges of stealing a U.S. drug enforcement administration document and selling it to the subject of an investigation.

Constable Michael Adrien Van Rassel, 29, who is stationed at Roberval, Que., was arrested in Miami on May 9 by administration agents. He was charged with taking a document, part of an investigation in which he was a liaison, and giving it to the subject of the inquiry for $2,000 bribe.

In addition to the bribery and theft charges, he was also charged with travel in furtherance of felonies.

Van Rassel could have received maximum penalty of 30 years in prison had he been convicted on all three charges.

NOTE: Constable Rassel (Regt. #35018) left the Force in 1988.


1980s - RCMP "E" Division Drill Team (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

1980s – RCMP “E” Division Drill Team (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

January 22, 1986 – OTTAWA – Allegations that female Mounties suffer sexual harassment must be reviewed by an independent body, not by an RCMP officer who might try to whitewash the issue, Liberal MPs demanded Tuesday.

John Nunziata, MP for the Toronto riding of York South-Weston, told Solicitor-General Perrin Beatty that an internal investigation by RCMP commissioner Robert Simmonds is not good enough.

“Weill the solicitor-general not agree that an independent investigation into the serious allegations is necessary in order to avoid the possibility of a whitewash and a coverup?” he asked in the Commons.

Beatty sloughed off the demand, saying he has confidence in the commissioner’s integrity and his ability to assess recent reports of sexual harassment and rampant sexism within the Force.

“I can certainly give the undertaking that, in any instance in which a member of the force comes forward with an allegation of sexual harassment, it will be fully investigated and if it is found to be substantiated then action will certainly be taken.”

Six female officers, who did not want their names made public, said last week that sexual harassment and sexism are driving women out of the force in record numbers.

The women, all of whom have resigned from B.C. detachments, said corporals and sergeants have tried to coerce them into bed and played crude sex jokes on them.

“I got tired of being propositioned by senior officers who thought you were a lesbian if you didn’t or a slut if you did,” said one woman who quite the force after five years.

Shelia Copps, Liberal MP for Hamilton East, said Beatty’s promise of an immediate internal review offers little comfort because he has been aware of concerns about sexual harassment in the force for some time.

A Commons committee studying equality provisions in the Charter of Rights was told in September that female Mounties are enduring sexual harassment in silence for fear of being regarded as cry-babies or trouble-makers, Copps recalled.

Beatty said no specific allegations of sexual harassment has ever been filed by a regular member of the RCMP.

Copps called on Employment Minister Flora MacDonald to heed the advice of the Commons committee on equality and extend proposals for employment equity laws to include the RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces.

MacDonald declined, prompting Copps to conclude outside the Commons: “She is saying that every federal agency in Canada must treat women equally except the RCMP and the Armed Forces.”