December 15, 2011: Cst. Milton’s Community Corner.
Cst. Milton’s Community Corner.
By Andrew Milton, Community Police Officer.
Not so long ago, a group of four- and five-year-olds from Connaught School came in to the Community Police Centre for a visit. Of course, they were full of questions and comments of the kind you might expect. Do you drive a police car? Why do you drive a police car? And so on.
One comment really got my attention though. This one was from a little girl who took a good look at me and mentioned that her parent works with a white police officer. I have no idea what prompted this observation, but it got me thinking.
One of the most identifiable things about a police officer is the uniform, particularly because of all the hardware attached to it. And it does tend to make us all look alike. But above each uniform is a unique face. In the Ottawa Police Service, there are about 1,300 unique faces representing a cross-section of our community as sworn officers walking the beat, in cruisers and on bicycles. Oh, and in community police centres, where you can also find volunteers from every walk of life.
A diverse police service has the best chance of working successfully with a diverse community like Ottawa. The better we are able to understand the many and varied sectors of society–based on age, culture, faith, background, gender, sexual orientation, race–the better we can find solutions to the problems that crop up in our community.
Being part of a diverse organization like the Ottawa Police Service helps me and other police officers do a better job of keeping Ottawans safe and secure.
All 1,300 of us wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season and the very best for the New Year.