Behind the Badge

Dal Hutchinson
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Summer goes by with tragedies

Hello everyone. This summer has seen its share of tragedy on the roads in Nova Scotia.

In Cumberland County, our roads have been the scene of many motor-vehicle collisions, two of which involved fatalities. During the month of July, Cumberland District RCMP responded to 30 motor vehicle collisions. As a result, 19 people were transported to hospital with minor to life-threatening injuries, and four people were treated at the scene.

My hometown of Parrsboro lost two young men in separate incidents this summer. One in August and the other in September. Such incidents have a lasting effect on the families, friends and the community. It also affects us as police officers.

Far too often, we respond to a motor-vehicle collision to learn that there are injuries or a fatality. Upon arrival, the scene can be that of chaos filled with dangers such as fallen power lines and vehicle fires. There can be numerous injured persons and many curious bystanders to deal with.

Other first responders are a blessing to a police officer as they are worth their weight in gold through the work they do! It’s not until after the scene has been cleared and we return to our office to begin the countless hours of computer work, that it actually hits us.

As a police officer, you try to keep your emotions in check. However, we are human too. One of the most difficult things to do is having to tell a parent that their child won’t be coming home. It’s something that every police officer never wants to experience. Unfortunately, we do.

As a police officer, it’s something that I have experienced and would hope it’s something I never have to do again.

Every September brings the Canadian Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Service held in Ottawa on Sept. 26. The memorial pays tribute to the fallen peace officers who have been killed in the line of duty. It’s a service which brings peace officers from all over Canada and the U.S. to honour those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“To Serve and Protect.” It’s something all peace officers swear to do.

While I was posted in Glaslyn, Sask., two members that worked in the neighbouring detachment paid the ultimate sacrifice. On the night of July 7, 2006, Const. Robin Cameron and Const. Marc Bourdages were shot by an assailant during a pursuit. Both young members, who were also parents, died within a few hours of each other, one week later.

As a police officer, I hope I never have to experience such an incident again. We all sign up knowing that this job does have inherent risks and dangers, however, one never thinks it will happen close to them.

So, the next time you see a police officer, take the time to say “hello” and thank them for the job they are doing. Remember, we are human too. 

Organizations: Canadian Police

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Cumberland County, Parrsboro Ottawa Canada U.S. Glaslyn Sask.

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