The newest class of Peace Officer graduates received their marching and listening orders from the City Manager as they started frontline careers as public servants.
Andre Corbould told the recruits to show strength and compassion.
“Strength is about sticking with it, even when challenges present themselves,” said Corbould. “Strength is in the DNA of City Peace Officers and, often, strength is not needed or displayed physically but with moral courage. And sometimes even courageous restraint is strength. “
Corbould then explained the other essential ingredient for success.
“And although Peace Officers have a critical enforcement role, I see officers who are compassionate, officers who care about others, officers who treat people with kindness and empathy.”
Corbould said the work of Peace Officers is not just about authority and enforcement.
“Being a Peace Officer is about listening to people, helping build solutions, problem solving, educating and building trust,” he said. “Being a Peace Officer is about public service.
Corbould made his comments during the ceremony on July 12, 2022, at Edmonton City Hall, where 18 new Peace Officers—including nine who will serve in the transit system in Edmonton—received their diplomas as graduates of Peace Officer Class #35. The class also includes Peace Officers who will serve in Spruce Grove, Canmore, Brooks, Lac Ste. Anne County, Penhold, and with Covenant Health in Edmonton.
Peace Officers receive standard, seven-week training regulated by the provincial Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta.
City of Edmonton Peace Officers are trained in Indigenous awareness, mental health awareness, de-escalation techniques and in how best to work with youth and homeless Edmontonians.
Community Peace Officer Anastasia Romanuk was drawn to serve by the chance to help people.
“In my previous role, I worked with a lot of vulnerable youth and it was through this that I knew I wanted to extend my passion for helping people by becoming a Transit Peace Officer,” said Romanuk.
“Enforcement is more than writing tickets. It can also be about helping people find a warmer place to spend the night and receive some food.”
Community Peace Officer Jethro Dagas signed up to make his community healthier.
“I took the training to become a Peace Officer to help vulnerable people and the community,” said Dagas. “I’m very interested in helping influence more positive perceptions of law enforcement. Most of us who are in enforcement want to help.”
“You are not uniforms.”
Corbould said the work of Edmonton’s Community Peace Officers has been challenging and rewarding and always important.
“From enforcing Covid-19 public health orders to stepping up and addressing safety issues on transit, in downtown and in Chinatown, these officers have played an essential role in the health and safety of our city and throughout the province.”
Corbould reminded the graduates that public service requires a commitment to personal strength and compassion.
“The work you are doing is important, and sometimes it is not easy,” he said. “You and your colleagues are people, not uniforms. Take care of yourselves, both physically and mentally. Being healthy includes being mentally healthy, and sometimes you need to help yourself before you can help others.”
Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post shows graduates of the Community Peace Officer Induction Program Class 35 during a ceremony at City Hall in Edmonton, July 12, 2022.