Order of Merit of the Police Forces Investiture Ceremony
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, May 9, 2012
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Rideau Hall for the Order of Merit of the Police Forces investiture ceremony.
The men and women who comprise police forces across this nation stand for service and loyalty. They work within our communities to protect us. They are committed to working together on behalf of all Canadians.
All of you being honoured here today represent the very best of police services across this country at every level. Throughout your careers, you have put the needs of others ahead of your own.
I have often spoken of building a smart and caring nation, where all Canadians play a part in strengthening our society.
You are here not by accident, but because you have stood out as willing to go beyond the call of duty, to think differently about the work that you do and to show compassion for the community.
As a society, we often forget the fundamental role that police play in building our nation. Police services have often been pioneers, dating back to the days of the Dominion Police and the North-West Mounted Police. Back then, members of the force were explorers as much as protectors, carving out a way of life while enforcing the laws for settlers.
In other words, they were innovative in their approach to policing, using new ideas and new ways of thinking to help build the Canada we know today. That tradition of innovation has continued throughout the history of policing, and its legacy lives on in all of you here.
Today, we must draw on this legacy of innovation to think creatively and to address some of the challenges facing our officers.
If we are smarter about the way we work, we can create a better, more balanced workload for police services personnel.
You have contributed so much to Canadian policing throughout your careers and have shown others not only how to work smarter, but also that you are devoted to caring for others.
This caring—this consideration—makes people feel safer. They feel better having a sympathetic ear and knowing there is a commitment to act on concerns. And when that happens, when we can see that police are acting out of the best interests of the greater good, that they are in the community, that they are helping to improve the neighbourhood, trust will grow.
As you are invested into the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, know that this is both an honour and a responsibility. An honour to join fellow police services personnel who have given so much to this country, and a responsibility to be leaders in the police community.
You are loyal, trustworthy and committed. You protect and serve. You are smart and caring people, willing to put in the effort to create the police services that Canadians deserve.
And I have no doubt that you will continue to inspire generations of police to follow.
Congratulations to all of you.