Editor’s Commentary
Selecting stories for this issue — traditionally our clothing and duty gear edition — proved to be quite the challenge.
It doesn’t occur that often, but every now and then, when we have our booth set up at a trade show, someone will exclaim, “when did two women become the face of Blue Line?”
Firefighter Barry Dawson, paramedic Andreanne Leblanc, former RCMP officer Krista Carle: three first responders with different lived experiences and their own versions of “PTSD demons,” but who have one thing in common: within the past year, they decided to end their own lives.
By the time this reaches your mailbox, the Senate will have cast its final vote to usher in Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act. And my guess is we all draw in a sharp breath yet again.
I am proud to bring you our annual Blue Line Expo Show Guide in this month’s issue. On May 3, we have a jam-packed day planned for the Canadian law enforcement community, including an exclusive new workshop on building resiliency with Dr. Stephanie Conn of First Responder Psychology. 
When people mentioned “meditation” to me in the past, I thought of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love book and the far-away ashram she attended where schedules were strict, the silences long and the mental work intense.
As I sit down to write this (late February), a flood warning for my hometown (St. Marys, Ont.) has just been lifted and the residents of Brantford, Ont., who were evacuated due to the mid-February inundation, have been allowed to return home. My personal social media feeds have been teeming with videos and photos showing the dangerously high Thames River.
I’ve been watching Stranger Things and the German science fiction/horror series Dark on Netflix over the past few months and thoroughly enjoying whenever one of the retro police cars or trucks whizzes (or putts, as with that circa 1953 fir green Volkswagen police beetle in Dark) across the screen.
A few months ago Blue Line co-hosted a private roundtable on protecting smart cities, sponsored by BlackBerry and hosted at Deloitte’s downtown Toronto office. The day saw a number of chiefs, deputy chiefs and IT (information technology) policing personnel assemble to discuss — in an open dialogue — innovation and technology in public safety.
The weekend of September 30, 2017, was a heavyhearted one, to say the least.
Every October issue of Blue Line includes an Education & Training Directory, so naturally I found my ears perking to any news smacking of the hallowed halls of knowledge. With school back in session, I noticed one particular story was receiving a lot of attention: officers in schools.
It never fails to astound me how valuable a face-to-face moment can be in these digital times. This is something I rediscovered (and for the first time from a law enforcement angle) at the 112th Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) conference, held earlier this summer in Montreal, where the theme was about policing in a digital society.
After reading this issue’s cover story, The passion to serve, a profile about the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), I immediately remembered the time I attended a change management workshop delivered by Peter de Jager.
As I watch the ongoing public controversy about street-checks (aka “carding”) run-on like Niagara Falls, I’m often stuck by the statistical data typically quoted by the mainstream media and other critics, who claim that the practice is inherently biased against certain identifiable groups.
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