Feb
24

Senator Hubley addresses Atlantic Police Academy graduating class

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From left to right: Niall Barkes of the Sheriff and Public Safety Officer Program; Edgar MacLeod, Executive Director of the Atlantic Police Academy; Senator Hubley, and; Tanner Howatt, Correctional Officer program

From left to right: Niall Barkes of the Sheriff and Public Safety Officer Program; Edgar MacLeod, Executive Director of the Atlantic Police Academy; Senator Hubley, and; Tanner Howatt, Correctional Officer program

Good morning, cadets, distinguished platform guests, instructors, ladies and gentlemen:

A warm Island welcome to those who have traveled here from away.

I am very pleased to be here.  Thank you so much for inviting me to speak today.

Congratulations to you all on graduating from the Correctional Officer and Sheriff and Public Safety courses.  You are to be commended for successfully completing these training programs.

You have chosen challenging but fulfilling careers, both in corrections and in law enforcement.  Like politicians, your chosen career can be a lightning rod for criticism.

But the way of doing things is changing, and you will be part of that change as you move forward in your careers.

It can be a definite challenge.  I am a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, and we are currently doing a study on the situation in federal correctional institutions.

We are looking at the situation for vulnerable or disadvantaged groups, like Indigenous people, women and those with mental health issues.

We are also studying conditions of confinement, the effect of segregation, and access to mental health treatment.  We are getting a view of what can happen inside a federal penitentiary.

Some incidents are more challenging than others, and I expect that your training will serve you well.  I understand from Inspector Haywood that those of you in the Correctional Officer course talk about Firm, Fair, and Friendly, and I think it’s reasonable to say that the same approach applies for law enforcement.

You have to keep the peace while respecting human rights.

You have to ensure safety while also being humane.

Communication is key.

As you go out to your first jobs, you will find that drugs, alcohol, and mental illness can be common factors in someone’s brush with the law and subsequent incarceration.

The training you have received here over the last few months will be of benefit.  You will be better informed, and better equipped to deal with situations as a professional.

You don’t always have a choice about the situation, but your reaction – how you deal with it – that is a choice.

You have chosen rewarding career paths, both in public safety and corrections.  Keep at it, do it well, and you will have the opportunity to excel and move up the ranks.

Before I finish I would like to acknowledge Inspector Susan Haywood and Sergeant Dave Elliott, as well as your instructors, for their work in successfully guiding you all toward this graduation.

We are very fortunate to have the Atlantic Police Academy – and Holland College as a whole – offering these training opportunities.  I am always happy to support the good work that is done here, and happier still to participate in a ceremony like this one.

Congratulations again, graduates! I wish you all the best as you go forward in your careers.

 

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