Marc Andrews

Community Policing Operations Command
• Peel, Canada
Marc at work - Behind the Uniform

“If you’re looking just at the paycheck…
the job will wear you down”

When you join the service, the first thing you have to realise is that policing is not about you. Yes, there’s satisfaction and real personal growth to be had as a Police Officer but you’ve got to be committed to an ideal, a sense you’re doing something for the greater good. If you’re looking just at the paycheck, or the prestige of wearing the uniform, the job will wear you down. I’m in my 31st year as a police officer and I can tell you that if you’re doing it for the right reasons, you will derive far more than economic benefit.

When I started there used to be a sharp line between police and the community, a separation, and all were comfortable with that. Now that line is blurred. The community demands more. High expectation is placed on us because we have the power to take away someone’s freedom.

With that responsibility, the community rightly demands accountability and transparency. They want us to articulate why we do the things we do, and they want us to be more connected to them than in previous decades.

My time in the army gave me a chance to travel and gain experiences that showed me that good policing is critical for thriving communities. On UN peacekeeping missions in the Middle East, including Lebanon, in the late 1980s I saw society where security had broken down. If people are insecure, you can’t have a high-functioning community, we see that all over the world.

“You can’t win today’s game with
yesterday’s penalty kick”

Our region is named after Sir Robert Peel, the founder of modern policing as we practice it today. Sir Robert’s mantra of ‘police are community, community are police’ is where we want to be and how we gain respect. I live in the community I serve, my wife and eldest son are in uniform also. How can you police a community you’re not connected to?

Policing is not traditionally a nimble industry, it hasn’t had to be, yet we have to adapt and change as our communities evolve, you can’t win today’s game with yesterday’s penalty kick. We have to continually work for that respect. It isn’t given, it’s earned.

Policing is a risk-inherent business, and officers are human and will make mistakes. We are not trying to aim for perfection, we are willing and able to admit when we make mistakes and own them as individuals and organisations. The community is reasonable and forgiving if you are open and honest. To know justice has been done they must be able to see justice has been done. If you say you are never wrong, you will rightly get push back. And when things go well, don’t rest, you need continuous improvement. Just because we are good at something doesn’t mean we can’t get better.

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His route into Policing
Marc - Behind the Uniform
Two Marc's - Behind the Uniform
Marc in Office - Behind the Uniform

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