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Political Science Canadian

Worth Dying For

Canada's Mission to Train Police in the World's Failing States

by (author) Terry Gould

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Oct 2014
Canadian, Political Freedom, Human Rights
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2014
    List Price

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Timed to the 25th anniversary celebration of the RCMP's first mission to train police in the world's failing states, a brilliantly reported account of a year in the life of our "CivPol" missions in Afghanistan, Palestine and Haiti, and an intimate portrait of the idealism and courage our police officers bring to this complicated and dangerous work. Brought to us by the only journalist ever granted unfettered access to these missions.
     As Canadians' sense of pride in their country's "blue helmet" global peacekeeping role fades away, little attention is paid to the RCMP's International Peace Operations Branch, a unit that travels to the world's most desperate places to help train corrupt police forces in ethical practices. With exclusive access to the Canadian CivPol (civilian police-trainers) units in Afghanistan, Palestine and Haiti, Terry Gould gives us the untold story of the extraordinary individuals behind these missions: the city, provincial and Mounted Police officers who volunteer and the cops they set out to train in law enforcement ideals amidst the entrenched violence and oppression unique to each troubled nation. Gould explores the hope, heartbreak and tragedy experienced by Canadian cops as they try to lend the right kind of help by establishing trust with local cops and civilians against a history of Western colonial exploitation. And he shows us why the creation of an ethical police force is essential to the renewal of these failing states, and to a peaceful future for all of us. RCMP Superintendent Joe McAllister, a veteran of 4 Afghan training missions, tells the author why he and his colleagues volunteer for such hazardous assignments: they believe in a code of service that is worth dying for.

About the author


  • Winner, Dafoe Book Prize

Contributor Notes

TERRY GOULD is a Brooklyn-born investigative journalist who focuses on organized crime and human rights issues. He has won more than 50 awards and other honours for his reporting. His most recent non-fiction book, Murder without Borders, the product of 4 years of dogged travel and investigation, recreated the lives of journalists who were killed to shut them up as they reported truths about the powerful in the world's most dangerous places. For that work he won the Canadian Press Freedom Award, the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Non-Fiction, the Spanish Press Freedom Award and was a finalist for the Writers' Trust of Canada Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Gould lives in Vancouver.

Other titles by Terry Gould