Making the decision to put the Naps uniform on was something I had wrestled with for some time. I always knew that I wanted to give back to my community but Policing seemed daunting and yet at the same time I found myself welcoming the opportunity to consider working in the field. Law enforcement was not anything that I took lightly. I grew up respecting the “Shemaganish” (police officer), their status in the community and I also appreciated the symbolism of the badge. So the deliberations began. I took the time to look at my past, my current situation and my future. It was evident that I wasn’t getting any younger. Still I wanted to do something for my community so I sought the advice of a few elders, talked it over with my wife and the Chief of our community and then carefully weighed everything. After a while, I came to rest on a decision. For myself when I make up my mind to do something I intend to put my best foot forward and I was ready to do just that for my community and with Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service.
The acceptance notice came in 2009. I was set and ready to to to Ontario Police College in Alymer, Ontario for three months of training. I graduated from Ontario Police College in August 2010 and have been stationed in my home community since then.
I’m of the opinion that Policing involves integrity and fair mindedness when preserving order. It also means being firm, diplomatic and being able to follow procedures. Although I am an “older” rookie, I found that I was able to draw upon my life experiences to help me in Police matters. Knowing the culture, the history, the language and the people at times makes a difference in resolving conflicts with mutually accepted resolutions. It is great when all those involved in an occurrence are willing to work together to resolve a matter. I believe in blending modern procedures with local resources, traditional practices and working with the elders. Knowing the people you serve is very important and it adds a culturally-based element to learning and applying the restorative justice process at the community level and this is especially important for our youth.
So far, being a Naps officer at this point in my life has been nothing short of rewarding. I enjoy policing and this could be the career choice for you too.