Corporate Power Brokers

Corporate Power Brokers – Police Insider Version of Horrible Bosses (Introduction)

Horrible Bosses Premiere
Horrible Bosses

Since my career ended with the Winnipeg Police Service I’ve received a tremendous amount of email expressing interest in the “inside” story regarding the role high-ranking Police Corporate Power Brokers played in the treachery that forced me out of the profession I so loved.

The interest has come from readers, serving and retired Police Officers, practising Lawyers, members of the media, students and others.

In November 2013, I received an email enquiry from a British Columbia Criminology student who was working on an Ethics & Accountability presentation.  The student chose the topic, “Unethical Leadership,” while the majority of the class focused on more “en vogue” issues regarding Police excessive use of force.  “I’ll be presenting your situation to my class,” the student said.

“I’m glad I’ll be able to present something many people don’t believe exists – especially with regard to Police leaders.”

“I’m glad I’ll be able to present something many people don’t believe exists – especially with regard to Police leaders.”

“When I first selected the topic I thought it would be impossible to find something that really should be non-existent,” the student continued.

The student’s research combined with the magic of the internet and the shrinking world resulted in the discovery of my story.

Unethical Police leaders….

Yes, they truly should be non-existent.

The Winnipeg Police Service, like most Law Enforcement Agencies, is all about ethics.  Police Executives demand high moral standards and strong ethical behaviour from all of their employees.  Ethics are so important to Police Executives they ensure the core values of the Police Service are printed, framed and placed on the walls of all Police Stations and Specialty Units.

Winnipeg Police Service Core Values;

Integrity – Acting in an open, honest and trustworthy way in all of our interactions with each other and the public.

Respect – Honouring individuals and diversity, by showing compassion and tolerance to all people.

Citizen Focus – Conducting ourselves in a professional manner at all times, showing pride in service and commitment to serve the greater good.

Accountability – Making quality, ethical decisions that guide our individual and collective efforts, and accepting responsibility for our actions.

Courage – Serving on the street and in leadership roles, being ready to make tough decisions to valiantly protect people and their property.


A month before the student contacted me I attended the Winnipeg Police Association’s annual fall retirement party.  The retirement party is a celebration designed to thank both sworn Police Officers and Civilian Staff members for their years of loyal service to the Police Service and citizens of our City.

During the evening I had a conversation with Association Vice President George VanMackelBergh about the “elephant in the room.” My career in policing ended on an extremely bitter note and everyone in that room knew it.  After all, it was one of the most public internal disputes ever covered by the press regarding an employee of the Winnipeg Police Service.

As we discussed the ugly affair George offered his appreciation regarding how I presented my case to the WPA.  As the conversation evolved, he inadvertently inspired me to write this story. “If only other members of the Association would put the kind of work into their cases that you did it would make it so much easier to fight for them,” he stressed. 

“If only other members of the Association would put the kind of work into their cases that you did it would make it so much easier to fight for them.”

The Winnipeg Police Association represents 1,463 sworn Police Officers and more than 460 civilian staff members. It’s only natural that a number of employees will have some form of conflict with management that may need Police Association intervention. Often times these conflicts can be resolved with a simple phone call or temperate mediation.  The issues usually arise from poor communication or conflicting interpretations of the working agreement.

Unfortunately, philosophical disagreements, ineffective communication and contradictory interpretations of collective agreements are not the only mechanisms that can trigger a labour dispute.

What happens when high-ranking members of your organization target you for punishment for not “towing the company line?”

What happens when corrupt power brokers in your organization use “policy” as a convenient cover to destroy your career?

What happens when high-ranking executives are prepared to lie, deny or deceive to camouflage their treacherous hatchet work?

When it happened to me I realized I had two options, fight or flight.

Unfortunately for my adversaries, I don’t have wings and flight was never an option.

The frustrations expressed by Vice President VanMackelBergh centered on his association members inability to articulate and present their cases.  It occurred to both of us these shortcomings could be attributed to a lack of experience, knowledge, preparation or strategic thinking.  These are all essential elements when it comes to winning a labour dispute.

“Corporate Power Brokers – How to Beat Them at Their Own Game,” is a story about heart, courage and determination.

It’s also about skill, strategy, organizational ability and winning an ugly fight against great odds.

By sharing this story, I hope to arm you and give you some of the tools you might need to cut the Corporate Power Brokers off at their knees.

To make them eat a great big fat slice of humble pie.

To make them think twice before they screw the next little mouse like me or you.

I can assure you of one thing, there’s no better taste, than the sweet taste of vindication.

Look for the first part of the series, “Corporate Power Brokers – How to Beat Them at Their Own Game” in next Sunday’s edition of The Police Insider.


  1. Please consider sharing your story with the Workplace Bullying Institute- there are so few stories where a targeted individual prevails! I’m sure their readers would be inspired, and a first-person account can convert non-believers to the cause…there are still too many people who simply can’t believe that adults in positions of responsibility would act the way they do.

  2. Looking forward to reading this next week; looking SO forward!

Share your thoughts - we value your opinion!