As 39-year-old Phil Kane marched into the Cartier Square Drill Hall yesterday with the graduating class of new Ottawa police constables, he was shocked to see a man dressed in a scarlet jacket, topped with a brown flat-brimmed Stetson.
His brother David, 38, an RCMP officer posted to Surrey, B.C., had secretly flown into town to present Kane with his wallet badge at the graduation ceremony.
Ottawa police graduated 24 of its newest officers yesterday. In all, eight family members presented graduates with new wallet badges. Const. Nicola Saunders was welcomed into the ranks by her husband. Several parents welcomed their children, including Staff Sgt. Terry Welsh, whose daughter, Lisa Welsh, joined the service shortly before he retired.
New Const. Scott Turnbull received the badge from his mother and father, both officers, and his brother, who is also a member of the Ottawa police.
Keeping with the family theme of the ceremony, Chief Vern White reminded the new officers to look after their loved ones at home and urged those family members to support the new officers.
“When you’re out there putting your life on the line and running towards danger, it is often your family that feels the brunt of that,” he told the recruits.
“At the same time, remember you have a family of 2,200 people who stand with you, behind you and in front of you, and when necessary, will be at your side.”