Although police don't generally call themselves civilians, in my mind if you are not subject to unlimited liability (police are not...) you are a civilian.
Unlimited Liability (UL);
The concept of the unlimited liability contract is that when members of the military ‘sign up’ for military duty they surrender certain rights by the very nature of their military service – they must obey legal orders, are placed at an increased risk of harm or death in certain situations due to their military service and they surrender certain rights by the very nature of their military service, such as their right to safety, to autonomy, to freedom of movement, and so on.
The idea of UL was stated about 60 years ago and then really brought up in discussions and to be defined about 40 years ago. In essence, you signed on the dotted line and that has consequences.
But respectfully. I don’t think it is the panacea that many think it is and quote.
In 15 years as a firefighter I was never ordered to do something knowing it would kill me. In fact, in all dangerous situations actions were taken in a very calculated way. In a few cases I was called out of fires when the calculation of risk for the crew were deemed too high based on the possible benefits. There were also other incidents where we took extreme risks based on our belief that the benefit ( the saving of a human life) was worth the risk.
In more than 25 years of policing I lived and worked in a number of small northern communities and spent time on the Tactical Troop and Emergency Response Team. I lived in restrictive conditions, giving up some of my rights due to my service. I attended more calls than I can count where there was an increased risk of injury or death. I have given orders to other members at calls that were calculated risks. I have been assaulted, shot at a number of times and run down by a vehicle once while on foot. All here in Canada. Often attending by myself, and there was no “opt out” option.
I deeply respect many veterans and many things about the military. I just think that some times the only thing missing about UL from policing, at least in the RCMP is that nobody adopted a British Generals expression of UL and published an equivalent to Duty with Honour: The Profession of Arms in Canada.
Oh, I did a 9 month tour in Afghanistan as an RCMP member. I was deployed in the field as a police mentor to the ANP. I never worked in a training camp or as an advisor at an HQ. I carried a 9mm pistol and a C7A2 and most of the time lived in a tent. I did my share of gate guard, foot patrols and vehicle patrols. I was present more than once when my unit was in contact. I once heard a CAF officer tell some other RCMP members in mission that when they go on patrol if anything happened that they could just stay behind the CAF members and they would be protected. As they had no UL. It sounded stupid when he said it. As it was. Probably why I am so cynical most times when I hear it used by people now. On July 22nd I will be a civilian.
For your discussion and dismemberment.