Addressing a packed auditorium at Floradale Public School where the latest crop of cops was sworn into the Waterloo Regional Police, chief Bryan Larkin raved about his new recruits.
“What an incredible, joyous day,” he said with his trademark enthusiasm and wide smile. “I want to thank you for being here today as we acknowledge the accomplishments of our eight newest members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service. I am very proud today because this is my first official swearing in ceremony as the chief. I got to meet class 86 as I was coming into the organization, and I spent a lot of time talking to them and sharing stories with them – they are simply incredible human beings. They are lovely people and I am so excited to see their careers flourish.”
In front of friends, family, politicians and members of the police force, Mathieu Deschatelets, Andrew Jackson, Shane Cowell, Christopher McPherson, Alexander David, Jeremy Bowman, Heather Burgess and Andrew Farwell stood proudly in their crisp ceremonial uniforms.
Each will head off to various detachments throughout the region in the coming weeks.
After a rendition of O Canada by the school’s intermediate and senior choir, principal Vlad Kovak shared a few words.
“We are very proud to be able to host this ceremony and especially proud of one of our graduates, Jeremy Bowman who has received his badge today. He is a former student of Floradale Public School, so that is a fantastic celebration of learning and the partnership between our two organizations.”
He continued, “To you folks becoming police officers today, on behalf of our school and our community and our board, you are going to be a visible presence, you’ll be a mentor and a role model. We will come to know that we can depend on you when you’re needed and that you will do the very best to honour your service and you will keep our community safe. I wish you a long, successful career.”
Speaking on behalf of class 86, Farwell outlined some of the key qualities of the WRPS.
“One of the integral components of the service is to focus on promoting community policing and working with youth and the public to promote collaboration. It also emphasizes its core values including diversity, excellence, respect for the quality of life, education, youth, teamwork, justice, partnerships and integrity, which all members demonstrate by words and actions to the public on a daily basis.”
Police work is driven by a desire to serve the community, he added.
Larkin echoed that sentiment.
“As many of your coach officers and staff sergeants have joined with you to celebrate, there is one thing that always remains the same with us,” he said. “I think that is the enthusiasm, the energy and the passion for what we do because as the justice said, it is not a job, it is a vocation. It is a craft and over the next 30-plus years, you will perfect that craft.”