Officer 1849 neglects to properly return my license and blames me

A smiling beefy balding man in a sleeveless Winnipeg Police service jersey at a basketball game
Kevin Smith at a 2017 copaganda event, as captured by CBC

I originally posted this on June 25, 2008. Images are not contemporaneous and I’ve made small edits.

Steps I undertook to get my license back after officer 1849 failed to return it to me at the Friday, June 13 World Naked Bike Ride:

  1. Sunday, June 15: went to the Public Safety Building. Talked to someone at the desk, who professed ignorance as to the whereabouts and schedule of 1849. Was told that they would email him and he would contact me, since he “has [my] contact information.” Comforting! Never happened.
  2. Wednesday, June 18: called the Professional Standards Unit, the police department charged with investigating officer misconduct. Was told that 1849’s division would call back. Never happened.
  3. Friday, June 20: called the Professional Standards Unit. They gave me the number for the staff sergeant of 1849’s area, Division 11. Called and left a message.
  4. Tuesday, June 24: approaching desperation still with no police response, contacted my city councillor Jenny Gerbasi to see if she could pull any strings. Later that afternoon I got this message:
Hello, [name], it’s staff sergeant Cam Baldwin calling. I'm calling in response to the voice message you left for me, I believe it was earlier today [sure, if by earlier today, you mean four days ago], in regards to um, an officer that you identified as badge number 1849 and an incident which occurred a week ago Friday in regards to the non-return of your drivers license.

I've spoken to the officer and the officer's supervisor, and uh, the officer's indicated that the license was placed in… or tucked into your backpack. So, I'm hoping that you can locate it in the pocket or the pouch of your backpack, that is where he said he put it. And if you have any other concerns, you can give me a call at the number you originally left the message on, 6259, uh, but the priority for me is to ensure that you do have your license back, so. Um, I probably missed you for the day, but if you get this message tomorrow, feel free to give me a shout.

Well-played, 1849. I’m sceptical that this tucking occurred at all, but they can now effectively pin the blame upon me that I lost the license. Never mind that there’s not really any place to tuck such a thing and that 1849 should simply have handed it to me! The police have had a long time to perfect their techniques of fucking people over.

Still, there’s a delicious counterpoint to 1849’s threat to contact my work. I’ll be returning Baldwin’s call to follow up on the inappropriate phone number requests and the comments that have since been pointed out to me as sexual harassment.

A police officer midair jumping into a pool for a meagre crowd of onlookers
Cam Baldwin performing for Support Local News copaganda; photo by Ruth Bonneville

(Followup from the comments)

Baldwin called me back. I typed some of what he said, though he caught me and thought I wasn’t listening.

The license is a lost cause, of course.

He agreed that contacting my work was inappropriate

What you choose to do on your off time is your right and it should not impact on your employer.
I won’t defend officer [Kevin] Smith, the methods that he used, but I guess that what I’m asking is, try to understand, he was asked to deal with the demonstration that he… under the circumstances, we knew it was a planned event, we had consulted with the crown…


Regarding the comments about my body:

I’ll agree with you that it is inappropriate. I’ll be speaking to him about that.
Other than an admonishment, it’s not the type of offence that he would be suspended from pay for.
He’s a bit of a hardnose as an officer


maybe not the best at public relations. […] will say that he’s a good officer generally

Good at screaming and bursting blood vessels, maybe!

I will apologise to you on his behalf, hopefully there are lessons we’ve all learned […] comments like that are not very professional, I will be discussing that with him.