p.p1 enough for awarding me this opportunity.

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Good morning Commissioner Hawkes, Provincial Commander & Deputy Commissioners, Sergeants & instructors from the Provincial Police Academy, friends, families & notable guests – And most importantly, good morning graduating recruit class 461. It’s a privilege to be speaking on behalf of all 81 constables sitting here today – I can’t thank you enough for awarding me this opportunity.

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We’ve been through a lot. We’ve pushed through every 6:00AM workout; from the rainy days of November to the bone chilling -40 January mornings. We accomplished the dreaded 10KM run our first day back from the Ontario Police College, which was more like 13KM(and hey Lyon buddy, you only puked once – congratulations). We remained focused & on target during the long days of firearms at the outdoor range in the most unfavourable weather conditions of the year. We’ve also survived the last 8-weeks on $22.50 at the academy cafe, spending every dollar on questionable meats & endless cups of coffee. But most importantly, we kept fighting day after day of intense training to become the officers we are today. The last five months of training has provided us with the knowledge & abilities required to be successful police officers in our communities. For example, we have two constables heading to Pickle Lake – who will undoubtably stop more Moose than cars during their R.I.D.E. programs, four constables heading to Wasaga Beach – Have fun with your 2-million summer vacationers, & 12 constables heading to Highway Safety Divisions – Shearer, you’re so fast I don’t even think you need a cruiser buddy.

All jokes aside – Our friends & family joining us today understand the sacrifices & efforts we’ve made to achieve our dream of becoming a police officer – but for them, it must’ve been the happiest, yet worrisome moment in their life when they heard the news. Rest assured – we are now apart of one of the biggest families who have our backs at all time. See, the thing about this career is that people think that you become a police officer, they think you need to change who you are to play the role of this life we’ve chosen. The thing is, you do not “become” a police officer, you are born one. It’s not something you can just learn from a book, it has to be part of the package you possess as a human being. You have to be driven, not lazy. You have to speak with your words, and not with violence. You have to be empathetic & connected, not cold & disconnected. You have to be a social worker, a judge, a psychologist, a nurse, an actor, and a hero all at the same time – maintaining the mistake rate to a bare minimum at every call you take. You have to be a pillar of strength for your community, keeping your emotions held in while acting with great diligence to keep others calm & safe. You have a tremendous amount of responsibilities & little to no window for errors.

The essential point to be made here is that as a police officer, you will — time & time again, be called to do the unthinkable. Although you probably will never perceive yourselves in such a beautiful light, you will be heroes in your own right & be called upon to perform things that very few will understand, appreciate, or be able to perform themselves. You have entered a class of humanity to which few are called – & thats why I think it makes it the most rewarding job on earth.

Thank you to the Nottawasaga Inn staff, chefs, line-cooks & cleaners… and everyone in-between who worked hard to put this day together for us. Thank you Inspector Battista, Sgt. Beebe, Sgt. Wiltshire, Sgt. Burns, Sgt. Jones, Sgt. Klingspohn & to everyone at the Provincial Police Academy who made our days full of terror yet excitement. Make no mistake class 461, we will all see each other again soon.