They’re the men and women who dedicate their lives, everyday, for the safety of others.
They do it so the rest of us as live comfortably in our neighbourhoods, and to be there if we need them.
Police officers – and in particular here in the Exploits Valley – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Grand Falls-Windsor Municipal Police Force.
May 14 – 20 marks National Police Week in Canada, a week “dedicated to increasing community awareness and recognition of policing service” according to the RCMP website, but Constable Tim Fifield of the Grand Falls-Windsor District of the RCMP knows for most officers, that’s something they do everyday.
“Although we’re busy, we try to get to the schools on a regular basis,” Cst. Fifield said. “Even driving around the community, if guys are playing road hockey or whatever, I’ll always stop, (ask) how they’re doing, maybe turn on the lights if they score a goal, or even do some announcing over the intercom on the car.”
For him, it’s a way to connect with young and old alike, let them know if they need him, he’ll be there. To let them know he’s “part of the community,” too, he said.
“They’ll know, ‘I can go to Cst. Fifield.’”
And that’s exactly what Police Week is all about, according to the week’s objectives on the RCMP website: to connect with the community, honour police officers, promote their work and inform the community of their role.
Cst. Fifield said if people know they have police officers they can trust and call, they will.
“These are community-minded people that want the community to be a better place,” he said.
During police week, members of the RCMP will take part in a full schedule of events across the region, getting back into the communities they serve, each day.
Members will attend a church service at Holy Anglican Church, host open houses, read stories to children, attend a “youth night” event, visit schools and libraries, serve breakfast, play hockey and spend time with seniors, just to name a few.
Members of the Grand Falls-Windsor Municipal Police Force will also be out “in full force” in the community, according to Constable Tim Noble. Cst. Noble said they’d be doing similar community-minded events as the RCMP, but also, they’ll be out, enforcing the law.
“We’ll be looking for anything to do with traffic violations…we’re doing a lot of patrols for (illegal) dumping, and we have a little bit of an issue with the garbage in the town not being covered and secured,” he said.
But these are things the force work to do, everyday, for the betterment of Grand Falls-Windsor.
“It doesn’t make a difference if it’s police week or any other week of the year – we strive to keep everyone safe in the community,” Cst. Noble said.
And of course, he recognizes it’s a great pat on the back for officers for the work they do.
“It’s every week for us, but it’s nice to be recognized (during) a special week.”
RCMP Cst. Fifield said being a police officer can be tough, too, and each time the force makes a drug bust, an arrest, or concludes an investigation, Cst. Fifield said it’s a great accomplishment.
He said they would celebrate their own victories, too, this week, but the most rewarding part of the job?
“I think on a day-to-day basis, if somebody comes up to us and says they appreciate the work (we do)…for me, that’s what makes my day…that’s a great day at work.”