Being the Daughter of a Police Officer
For the past 13 years of my life, I have known my father to be a Toronto Police Officer. He graduated from the college and began his journey at 31 Division. I was just 3 years old at the time, and was so happy to say “My daddy’s a policeman he protects people”. To this day, I hold great pride in my father’s job, knowing he is risking his life every day to keep people safe. About two years into his career, he and his fellow officers received a call at an apartment building for sounds of gunshots. While he was there he was shot at but luckily he wasn't wounded. Shortly afterwards, he came face to face with the suspect holding his firearm. The suspect was almost shot by my father.
From that day forward, my father and multiple other officers have suffered from PTSD. PTSD is a common mental health issue for many and completely NORMAL, especially for first responders. In this profession, our officers have been spit on, bitten, kicked, cussed at, and had many weapons pointed at them. They may also be victims of life-ending threats towards themselves and/or their families. My family was a victim of those threats. In my father’s previous job, a suspect had threatened to ‘come to my home and kill him’. The person managed to get ahold of his personal cell number, our home number, our address- All from his personal car’s licence plate. In early 2003, due to this occurrence where this suspect had come to my home to kill my father and potentially my mother, my parents had to move out of the country for a few months. If it weren’t for our wonderful Labrador Retriever, Bella, who chased after him until the police arrived to search for him, I may not have been able to sit here and tell our story.
Since joining Toronto Police, my father has worked at several different Toronto stations- mostly in the most dangerous and busy areas of Toronto. In this time, he has won an award and was promoted.
As I type this, it has been brought to my attention that there was a ‘defund the police’ protest occurring on August 29 in Toronto. As Canadians, we are told we can speak freely for our opinions, and although that is important in some cases, I am sad to say that this time is not easy for police families. A lot of anxiety that comes from being a part of a police family is the constant worry if our loved ones will come home safe to us, and protests like this shine a light on how some don’t see just how hard our officers work. There are instances that officers have abused their power and title, and they should be punished for those actions. But our innocent loved ones took the oath ‘To Serve and Protect’ others, should NOT be seen as ‘the bad ones’ amongst their coworkers who may have done wrong. There is good and bad in every profession, and not everyone is a bad person. I have been taught ever since I was a child to always respect everyone no matter their race, gender or profession. What happened to everyone being equal? There is a time and a place for everything, police are trained to protect the community and themselves from violence. If you think you can do the job better than them, be my guest- Tell me how it feels to have a weapon pointed at you by a suspect in question and not knowing if you will make it home to your family? Underpaid, understaffed, and overworked- Endless hours dedicated to helping the community. Sure, go ahead and defund the police, but who will be the ones to protect you when the crime occurs? Who are you going to call- Ghostbusters? My everyday superhero’s in this case bleed blue (police), red (firefighters) and white (paramedics): 80% of the police budget goes to the salaries and 20% is for other necessities. Let me ask you this: Would you defund our military since they live and risk their lives every day to fight for our country during the war? As the proud daughter of a police officer, I support the officers and will continue to stand by my father’s side through good and bad times, as he has done for me my whole life. I believe I am one of the luckiest kids in the world to be able to say with pride, “My hero wears a badge and I’m fortunate enough to call him my dad. I wear his badge with pride on my shoulder in tattoo form, and as a family; WE BLEED BLUE”.