Jarrod Singh

Police Officer, Patrol Unit
• Pickering, Durham region, Canada
Jarrod and dog - Behind the Uniform

That was a pivotal moment in my life, I knew then what I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be that kind of man. I wanted to be a protector”

My job interview with the police here in Pickering was somewhat unusual as it was with the same force that had dealt with my father, so they knew my family history.  In fact, I’m sure it helped, as those interviewing me understood I was able to experience things in life and turn them around.

These days I do a lot of presentations in schools where I tell my story.  Young people often struggle to talk about their personal lives and if my experience resonates with someone who can then focus on themselves and better their life, it is time well spent.

When I started school, life was all good, I had two younger siblings and things were mostly great.  My parents were first generation Canadians, my mother was from the Philippines and my father from Trinidad. I remember the local police delivering a programme in school about drugs and, around that time, I started noticing things around the home connected to my father’s drug use.  

When I was about 10 years old my father’s addiction became more noticeable and problematic.  There was cocaine in the house, alcohol abuse and altercations – both verbal and physical – with my mother.  Some days, Dad would hallucinate and walk around the house with weapons, often a knife or a baseball bat.

It was a common occurrence for me to say to my brother and sister, ‘go to your room, I’ll deal with Dad’.  I clearly remember the time I had to fight my own father.  He put hands on my mother, I grabbed him and shoved him into the kitchen cupboards and said: ‘Don’t touch her like that’.  He stared me dead in the eye, pushed me off and left the house.

“I clearly remember the time I had to fight my own father.  He put hands on my mother, I grabbed him and shoved him into the kitchen cupboards and said: ‘Don’t touch her like that’”

That was a pivotal moment in my life, I knew then what I didn’t want to be.  I didn’t want to be that kind of man.  I wanted to be a protector.  When police were called to the house, everything calmed down.  I didn’t understand the legal consequences, all I knew was once they showed up everything was calm when previously everyone was fighting.  That’s where I found my respect for policing.

I’ve been an officer in Pickering, on Lake Ontario, for about 6 years now, it’s where I grew up.  People say don’t work where you live but, for me, it depends on the individual and their policing style.  I don’t mind seeing people I know as I can treat them with respect, it helps as I know where they’re coming from.  As an officer you build relationships, communication is your primary tool, your job is basically to talk to people, that’s pretty much it. 

This year, I hope to get a School Resource Officer posting.  Of course, a lot of what we do with schools at the moment is remote, so it helps that I love tech and have access to social media which is such a great platform for connecting, particularly with younger people.  In my downtime, I  love dancing and playing basketball, although in lockdown I’ve been mostly playing video games.  They say ‘Call of Duty’ is an addiction; if that’s the case, it’s my only one and I’m going to keep it that way.

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Jarrod in Uniform - Behind the Uniform
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Jarrod - Behind the Uniform
Jarrod Game room - Behind the Uniform

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