I was born/grew up in: I was born in Oshawa Ontario. I grew up in Port Perry, Oshawa and Whitby Ontario
I now live in: I now live in Brooklin Ontario
What I do at work
The Marine Unit is a specialized support unit within the Toronto Police. We deal with boating and waterfront safety as well as search and rescue in all bodies of water within the city of Toronto.
During the course of my regular work day I will need to check over the boat or specialized equipment I will be using that day. Some of that equipment uses mixed fuel so I need use math ratios to get the mixture of fuel to oil correct or the engines will be damaged.
We often do searches for missing persons. They may be in the water or they may be adrift due to boat malfunctions. Lake Ontario is so large that we need to use search patterns so we don’t go over the same are repeatedly. We use various equations involving speed equaling distance over time to come up with accurate search patterns.
I use the underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and the side scan sonar device for specific searches. The equipment is very technical and sensitive so I need to understand some mechanical and electrical engineering to keep the ROV running. I also need to know the computer software that creates the 3D image of the lake bottom from the side scan sonar.
I work within a small team of 6 – 8 people depending on the day. We all work well together. When you know your teammates skills and experience it makes it easier to task them safely and effectively.
The decisions I make are usually a group decision since I rarely work alone in this Unit. On any given task or problem someone will offer up a solution or direction to take towards a solution. We will weigh the pros and cons of the suggestion to see if that is the best course of action. There is usually a lot riding on those decisions such as the safety of the officers and myself as well as the safety of the public.
My career path is
I wanted to be a Police officer since I was a boy but did not think it would be possible because I had poor eye sight. As medical technology progressed laser eye corrective surgery became an option. I had my vision corrected with that surgery and was hired by Toronto Police less than a year later.
I went to the University of Western Ontario for psychology after high school. I also went to Durham College after that for Mechanical Engineering Technology. I was building and maintaining fiber optic telecommunication systems before I became a police officer so that was a pretty big career change for me but it was worth it.
I am motivated by
I really enjoy working the with like-minded, quality people in my Unit. It is an enjoyable work environment.
I like the variety of training that is available to me within this specialized division of policing. All that variety brings with it the challenge of becoming skilled at all of them. This challenge motivates me to improve myself. Most of those skills improve my ability to rescue someone from a life threatening situation while keeping myself as safe as possible. I enjoy helping people and keeping them safe so I feel this job is right for me.
How I affect people’s lives
My career usually has a huge effect on people’s lives. That may be something as simple as educating boaters and the public on water and ice safety. That education will hopefully keep them safe and prepared so I do not need to rescue them in the future.
Then there are the times when I need to rescue people that have underestimated the weather conditions on the lakes or rivers. Those people need to be rescued to avoid serious injury or death. For both of those situations there is a great deal of satisfaction in helping the public.
Outside of work I
I enjoy camping and hiking by myself or with my family. I find nature very relaxing.
I enjoy trail riding and downhill mountain biking. I also like enduro dirt biking. Those activities keep me in nature but are both physically and mentally challenging. I also like to play tennis and for team sports I like to play lacrosse. All of these keep me fit and help clear my head.
My advice to others
I would suggest speaking to a few police officers about their experiences on the job. I think doing a “ride along” with an officer while they are on duty is also advisable.
Police testing to be hired requires a certain level of physical fitness so staying in good shape is essential. Volunteer works is also required to show that you enjoy helping others and the community. For the most relevant information on becoming a police officer you should speak to a police recruiter.