Blue Line

Features Editor’s Commentary
A celebration of all police officers

June 17, 2022  By Brittani Schroeder

Every year, Blue Line selects one Rookie of the Year award winner, and one Lifetime in Law Enforcement Achievement award winner. Each year, these winners showcase such a significant commitment to their communities and a strong determination to serve and protect. The pool of nominees for each award has been growing in size as the years go by, and myself – along with the three other award judges – find ourselves honoured to be learning about such incredible members of law enforcement, whether they’re just starting out in their careers, or have been on the job for more than 15 years.

Throughout the last two years, police officers have been faced with many unforeseen challenges. Specifically, policing and serving their communities during a global pandemic. Officers had to learn how to stay involved in their community and make meaningful connections while also keeping their distance and wearing masks.

Intense scrutiny was also focused on law enforcement, especially after the tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020, among many other deaths of people of colour. Both peaceful protests and aggressive riots broke out across the globe, and officers were right there in the middle of it all.

This Blue Line issue is dedicated to all law enforcement members. We see you, and we thank you for your service during these trying times.

During the pandemic, domestic calls also rose as more families were “locked down” and quarantined in their homes for much of their time. Halina Haag, a lead researcher on a study titled “The Shadow Pandemic,” concluded that the pandemic has intensified intimate partner violence (IPV) and increased challenges for service providers.

The rookies that have come on the job in the last two years likely experienced incredibly different situations than the rookie classes that came before them. Those who are close to retirement might be seeing events occur that haven’t happened in their many years as an officer. That is why this Blue Line issue is dedicated to all law enforcement members. We see you, and we thank you for your service during these trying times.

In this issue of Blue Line, you’ll find a variety of articles that will celebrate you, your fellow officers and the work you do every day.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with this year’s Rookie of the Year, Cst. Kelly Mariani, from Peel Regional Police. As earlier mentioned, this year’s pool of nominees was plentiful, which made the winner selection process a difficult one. However, it was a unanimous decision by the panel to award this year’s Rookie of the year title to Cst. Mariani. You can read about her journey on page 10.

I also connected with our Lifetime in Law Enforcement Achievement Award winner, Mike Henderson of the Parks Canada Warden Service. Henderson has been with the warden service for almost 30 years, and for 18 of those he has been a dog handler, working with several canine partners. Henderson is the first Parks Canada Warden to be awarded this title. You can read the full story on page 14.

When looking at the pandemic and how the role of police had to adapt, one thing that stayed constant was that they also had to deal with high levels of fraud. Cameron Field, retired Det. S/Sgt. of the Toronto Police Service, has written an article on what the battle against fraud has looked like in the 2020s. Read more on page 13.

If there is something you’ve encountered during the pandemic that you think fellow officers could benefit and learn from, please reach out to me at any time ( Together we will learn from our experiences over the last few years and come out stronger in the end.

Until next time, happy reading and be well.

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