It’s hard for Harold Joseph Northrup to forget the “terrible” sights and smells he experienced while picking up body parts at Peggys Cove and working in the morgue following the Swissair crash in September 1998.
But the 78-year-old Dartmouth man believes it’s important to reach out when he can, which is why he’s been willing to take on some tough jobs while volunteering for the Nova Scotia RCMP.
“I just want to help the RCMP out,” he said yesterday, just after receiving an award for his longtime volunteer work with the Mounties. “I think they’re a great organization.”
Northrup has been generously giving his time to the RCMP since 1975, still putting more than 1,000 hours in annually with the auxiliary program at the Cole Harbour detachment.
“Now I look after the police cars,” he said. “I take them to get the new tires on them.”
Northrup was one of 135 citizens who were recognized at the first ever Nova Scotia RCMP Volunteer Long Service Recognition Awards Ceremony, held yesterday at Halifax West High School.
“What’s particularly noteworthy is that it’s being held on the first day of National Volunteer Week,” Steve Graham, commanding officer of the Nova Scotia RCMP, pointed out to the families and friends gathered inside the high school’s theatre, the Bella Rose Art Center.
“(We) celebrate your continuous commitment to this province and most importantly, to the citizens.”
Each volunteer received a certificate signed by RCMP commissioner William Elliott and a commemorative pin. Many work with community policing programs such as Ground Search and Rescue, Citizens On Patrol, Neighbourhood Watch, Crime Prevention and Block Parents.
An “RCMP volunteer value statement” was also unveiled yesterday. It will be placed in the lobbies of detachments and community offices across the province.