Kids ‘N’ Kops program this week

I just swore in our 2013 Kids in the Kids ‘N’ Kops program.

Kids ‘N’ Kops is a nationally recognized program which is organized by the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada. Kids ‘N’ Kops is usually held in the last week of July. Approximately ten children, between the ages of nine and thirteen participate in the program along with several volunteers from Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service.

The program is geared toward unmatched Little Brothers and Sisters to promote trust and respect between law enforcement and children. This program helps to provide the children with an opportunity to get to know police officers on a more personal level, while instilling confidence and self-esteem for the children who participate. The mornings are spent at the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service where the children receive information on the Police Service and how it operates. The afternoons are spent participating in a variety of privately funded recreational activities.

The children participate in team and self-esteem building activities and are given demonstrations and instruction by specialized branches such as the Canine Unit, Uniform Patrol, and the Forensic Identification Branch. In addition, there can be mock courts or presentations on peer pressure, bullying, drug awareness, role modelling or self-esteem. The recreational activities can include swimming at Balsam Lake Provincial Park and attending a water park. On the final day, the children have a formal graduation which can be attended by family members, police officers and volunteers from the week.

This week has been a tremendous success in the past and a wonderful learning experience for the children with the additional benefit of enabling them to feel more comfortable with police.


Taser used = Mental Health Crisis Ended Without Injury

All available officers and an ambulance converged to the Home Building Centre on Lindsay Street South on Wednesday July 17th at 9:55am when an employee assaulted another, while suffering a mental health crisis.

Officers were able to confine the very large employee to the area of the parking lot but were literally unable to communicate with the man who by this time was non-verbal.

Fearing the man to turn violent yet again, walk out into the Lindsay Street South traffic, or even enter the Scugog River, the officer-in-charge elected to apprehend the victim with the assistance of a Taser. The man was apprehended quickly and immediately escorted to waiting paramedics.

He was taken to the Ross Memorial Hospital for medical assistance.

Should you, or an acquaintance find yourself in crisis;
First, please call

a) Four Country Crisis Line 24/7 at 866-995-9933 and talk with someone. They are funded by CMHA to cover our region.

b) Victim Services at 1 800 574-4401 number and speak with their staff/team leaders 24/7….they are trained in crisis intervention as well as any referrals that they may need within Kawartha and Haliburton. They are funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Second, there is a crisis nurse in the Ross Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, 0800-2200 Monday through Friday and 1000-1700 on Saturday and Sunday.

30 years ago today, July 18th, 1983 I started as a Constable with the Stratford Police Force

30 years ago today, July 18th, 1983 I started as a Constable with the Stratford Police Force (now Service), I really had no idea about what I was getting into, but boy was I lucky to find this career.

Three month earlier the construction company I was working for (Pounder Brothers) had finished renovating the Stratford Police building. Before I was done the Chief Norman E. MacDonald and Deputy Chief Douglas “Joe” Hartung (retired Chief) asked to speak with me…they told me that they had noticed me and wondered if I had ever considered becoming a police officer…I hadn’t, they were going to be hiring and thought I should consider applying. I was 21 already a Licensed Carpenter, married with a daughter and another daughter on the way. Up until that point my plan was to continue to gain more experience and then start out on my own someday and build houses.

I’ll skip some obvious “stuff”…I was hired.

My luck continued, my training officer Constable Graham Bunting (retired D/Sergeant) was a skilled police officer and willing to take his new “apprentice” under his wing. He was outstanding and I was (and am) appreciative. I was assigned to great platoon and my Sergeant was Don Hook (retired Deputy Chief), he was a no-nonsense kind of guy but fair and couldn’t be rattled regardless of the chaos that sometimes would occur…sometimes created by my youthful exuberance.

Our cruisers where yellow and had no air-conditioning, beige vinyl seats and no AM/FM radios, but had all the necessary policing equipment. We worked 8 hour shifts, days 8-4, afternoons 4-12 and midnights 12-8. We wore light blue shirts, pants with red stripes and black leather ankle shoes (year round). Foot patrol was assigned sometimes for the entire shift, and when all the patrol zones had 2 officers in each cruiser, you were left to your own devices for warmth/cooling and shelter. We also had a bank corner assignment Mon-Fri year round, where the Sergeant was required to ensure a Constable stood there, directed traffic and helped pedestrians 10 am – 6 pm…and you didn’t leave until you were relieved…

My use of force options as they became known consisted of a plastic baton, a sap, handcuffs and a Smith and Wesson 38 caliber revolver, with a separate pouch with 6 bullets for reloading. The revolver had a leather holster with a flap over top. My training officer kept the first chamber of his revolver empty in case it was taken away from him, giving him the advantage of knowing the first shot would not go off. Body Armour was just being introduced, it was worn under my shirt and very uncomfortable, but I wore it.

In September I was off to the Ontario Police College and was filled with excitement, yet very anxious at the same time. Once I arrived in my pod many of my fellow recruits where feverously polishing their boots, leather belts, cross straps, and even the peak of their forage caps…my anxiety peaked.

The next morning after breakfast we assembled in the auditorium and where promptly yelled at by the Commanding Officer for taking off our hats without being told to do so…my indoctrination into the paramilitary culture had begun in earnest. Thankfully my main Instructor a seconded officer from Durham Region S/SGT Shaw calmed us down while in class and became our ally for navigating successfully though our training over the next 9 weeks (we did and A part of 9 weeks and then a B part 6 weeks several months later). The college was demanding mentally and physically and I loved it.

I’ll skip the next 29 years but happy to say that I have loved virtually every minute of it, the joy of making a difference, helping people in a crisis, improving the safety in my community and working with a team of committed professionals who are likewise invested has allowed me to enjoy coming to “work” every day….I am very thankful.