Seven new Waterloo Regional Police officers took their oath of office and received police badges last week in Breslau.
Mathew Boniface, Mark Diefenbaker, Eric Drozd, Rachel Fischer, Eric Kroetsch, Jane Porteous and Brittany Watson were welcomed into the Waterloo Regional Police Service after successfully completing their basic training at the Ontario Police College.
“What a great day in the Region of Waterloo, what a great day in the Township of Woolwich,” said chief of police Bryan Larkin. “It is also an incredible day to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of seven wonderful individuals who are starting, as Justice Oldham alluded to, a new chapter in their lives.”
Held at the Breslau Community Centre, the ceremony saw the members of the recruit class #94 be officially sworn into service and receive their police badges in front of members of the senior administration, police services board, Justice Bonnie Oldham of the Ontario Court of Justice, Coun. Larry Shantz, volunteers, family and friends.
“Thank you for sharing your loved ones with our organization,” Larkin said. “There is always some worry, some inherent risk of unknowns, but we want to thank you for sharing them with me and thank you for supporting them through their journey.
“We are well funded, we are well equipped, we are well supported through strong governance and strong leadership and not many communities can boast that,” he said.
In addition to the seven new members in the region, an additional 200 other recruits across the province received their badges from the Ontario Police College.
“Our future is bright, our future looks incredibly bright with the young men and women who we are bringing into our organization,” Larkin added.
The new members studied in a variety of fields including criminology, political science, radio broadcasting, police foundations and psychology prior to joining the police service.
Speaking to the profession they are now entering, Larkin talked of the nobility that comes along with serving the community.“It is one that requires tremendous integrity, tremendous trust in ourselves and trust in our community,” he said. “As we look towards the future, today is a very exciting day, but it also comes at a very interesting time in policing. Our newest members are joining the police service where our profession is under much transformation, much change, much modernization and while that creates much change we should all pause and recognize we are also resilient, we are also a strong profession that continues to evolve,” he said, noting that while change can be worrisome, it will be the new recruits who help to lead them through those changes.
Before officially concluding the ceremony, Larkin left the group with some final words.
“Stay true to your values, stay true to who you are, never ever fear making a mistake and embrace it because it is a rollercoaster, so buckle up. We wish you well as you head out onto your career,” he said. “May the light shine bright, may you have an incredibly rewarding career, thank you for being who you are. All the best and congratulations.”