I was born and raised in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. I applied to the RCMP in 1999 after completing a summer student program with the Force while studying at Mount Saint Vincent University. I wrote the entry exam, successfully passed all requirements and 11 months later, I was sent to the RCMP Training Academy, In Regina, Sask.
The work of the RCMP appealed to me. It seemed interesting and I had never experienced anything similar.
After serving at various detachments and Federal Enforcement/Organized Crime Sections in Nova Scotia, as well as fulfilling some relief duties in Nunavut, I was promoted into Community, Aboriginal and Diversity Policing Services as H Division’s Diversity Policing Coordinator. I also sit on both the Commanding Officer’s Black Advisory Committee and the National Advisory Committee for Visible Minorities.
I’ve been privileged to experience a variety of aspects of policing throughout my career with the RCMP. Having a well-rounded service has really helped me in my current role.
Promoting diversity and strengthening community ties remains a priority for me. Earlier this year, I arranged various events for the RCMP’s fourth annual Diversity Week. One event was a Citizenship Ceremony, in which 36 new Canadians were sworn in as citizens. Other events included a Mi’kmaq drumming and dancing display and a performance by African Nova Scotia Blues/ R&B singer Cyndi Cain.
At times, I partner with RCMP Sgt. Craig Smith, who is also the President of the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia, to deliver cultural competency training sessions to RCMP employees. The training is called the “African Nova Scotian Experience" and discusses the rich African Nova Scotian history and how historic and modern day events have shaped police-community relations in the region. This training is essential for policing in Nova Scotia as the province is considered the "starting point" of African Canadian settlement with 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities.
I think it’s important to know the history of the community you are policing and know the relationship they have with police. Getting out there and interacting with the public greatly contributes to our community relationships.
I joined the RCMP at a time where only 0.5 percent of employees identified as visible minorities. Since then, the RCMP has remained committed to the principle that it should reflect the diverse population of Canada and has increased our visible minority population to over 10 percent.
We’ve made a lot of progress in strengthening diversity and inclusion in the RCMP and I look forward to seeing the impact of our collective efforts across the Force.