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Wednesday, 16 July 2014 15:03

Good intentions (maybe), but questionable outcomes

Written by  Dale Ferrel
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I’ve often wondered why our grand, top end leaders of most organizations disappear for their weekends off when weekends are likely to be the most important part of what they are about.

News and media top dogs are no different. That’s why we ghetto watch canned re-runs for two out of every seven days interspersed with mostly horrible reporting by third-rate news hawks trying to prove they are something better.
Many years ago when I was at a large police detachment, constables handled the heavy weekend work load on their own as best they could.
From Monday until Friday, Junior NCOs were available to help with the work load. Senior NCOs would justify their existence by reading our reports on their day shifts during the week. After I pointed out the obvious at a meeting, the junior NCOs became available to lend their guidance when it was really needed.
I’m all for the new Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. It has many improvements. I do see a hitch developing in the change to the Canada Evidence Act compelling spouses to testify.
In my police service and as a mediator, I have encountered many times, an imbalance of power that will defeat the good intentions of that issue. You can compel all you want to, but to no avail if the spouse is terrified of the accused. You will only have the prosecutor declaring he or she now has a hostile witness and is unable to get her or his evidence before the court.
Good intentions, but a questionable outcome?
The terrible Malaysia airlines incident should finally bring a long overdue upgrade to what we call the 60-year-old “black box,” actually an orange-coloured box that has long been in use to track downed aircraft and provide information on what led to the crash. The box also has a locator beacon that helps to locate the crash scene and the box itself.
The beacon does not provide a location unless the searchers are quite close to it. It also quits sending after about 30 days, or not at all, if damaged.
We have existing technology from 14 years ago that will send all the required information immediately, through satellites to the ground. No incident would go unsolved.
No more searches for years costing millions of dollars. No more unknown issues when the boxes are never recovered. No more unnecessary losses of millions of dollars on wild goose chases triggered by thousands  of false signals from ancient beacons received each year by search and rescue centres.
At a cost of $5 to $7 per minute, the new system should be implemented immediately and be mandatory. Any arguments about cost are “hog wash.” Perhaps a split between governments, air lines and passengers would be most fair. A couple of dollars per passenger, a flight doesn’t even rate a debate.
Just the cost for the interminable searching for the Malaysian lost flight alone, if applied could equip all of the world’s aircraft with money left over to subsidize thousands of flights.

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