Recently, police across Canada were asked by the media to share their personal experiences and perspectives on the issue of racism and discrimination. B.C. RCMP Cst. Nancy Saggar is one of those officers who has agreed to share a letter she wrote.
I’ve been a police officer for 11 years now. I am definitely used to public criticisms of my organization and police officers as a whole. Some of these criticisms are required as we must keep ourselves and the powers we are given as law enforcers in check. Oversight bodies and independent investigations are necessary and were implemented in Canadian policing standards years ago. Canada is one of the leading countries in this regard.
Independent oversight is welcomed, hate is not. I’ve had people come up to me personally and share their criticism or hate to my face while I am out responding to a call for service. I’ve also been assaulted, yelled at, spat on, called horrible names, all while wearing the uniform and doing my duties as a police officer.
When I was a new recruit I used to think it’s not fair. I’m one of the good guys. But then I realized that life is not fair and you can’t internalize the hate you receive. I got used to hearing the hate, I let it roll off my shoulder and head to the next call for service because I reminded myself of the reasons why I chose this profession.
I chose to be a police officer because I care about the state of our world, our Canada, our community, our humanity.
I care so much I wear the scars of the trauma and evil I’ve investigated. I wear these scars on my brain (PTSD), in my heart and it’s forever changed my soul. There are pieces of me that are missing that I will never get back because I chose to serve and be of service to my community, to my Canada.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I continue to choose this job because I haven’t lost sight of my humanity, and because I live off the fuel of the few and far between thank you’s I get from victims of crime.
I don’t want your pity, I want your word as a Canadian that you will treat others with respect and dignity all humans deserve. That includes the Canadians who wear a law enforcement uniform.
Many have law enforcement officers in their families. I implore you to please call these officers and check up on them. See how we are doing, we will likely tell you we are
fine because we are trying to keep a brave face but secretly we are being crushed by an anti-police narrative that is downright dangerous.
Before you form an opinion about Canadian police and share another anti-police post please do your research and understand our Canadian system and high standards of policing we uphold. I’m not saying we are without fault, I’m asking you to see the bigger picture. We can make the much needed changes together and we can do this without hate or violence.
And yes, despite my anxiety and the fear and hate I’ve been getting thrown my way, I will be showing up to work. I will answer the 911 call regardless of who is calling and I will treat them with respect and dignity. I might lose my life doing it but by God I will show up when you call for help because that is what good, kind and caring humans do for each other, they show up.
To serve and protect because that is what I choose. I choose to serve my Canada, our Canada. I choose to do that without fear and without hate.
Constable, West Shore RCMP