Under the umbrella of the United Nations, NATO and other organizations, Ottawa Police officers are granted the opportunity to participate as mentors and training officers on international peacekeeping missions. The UN missions were established to:
Officers have been on missions in Afghanistan, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Palestine, Sudan and other countries.
Ottawa Police officers, among other Canadian peacekeepers, have spent many hours helping an orphanage in Haiti during their tour with the UN. Originally, officers on a previous mission found an orphanage where thirty children were living in very poor conditions. No toilets, showers, plumbing, electricity, roof, courtyard, floor to play on, food or water – many of the things we take for granted in Canada.
Although officers were only there for the short term, their replacements picked up where the others left off. They began a major restoration of the site with funds being raised in Canada to purchase bunk beds and sheets for the kids. They also used the funds to install toilet stalls and a septic tank.
With colleagues from Montreal Police Service and Canadian military, officers:
Their work is continued today by others who have made improving the lives of these children a priority above and beyond their regular UN duties. They continue to make plans for the future!
As written by an Ottawa Police officer about her mission in Haiti…
When I commenced my two-year secondment with the RCMP’s Integrated Forensic Identification Services, I did not realize it would provide me with one of the most unique experiences of my career.
On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti devastating the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Over the following days, the scope of that devastation became more apparent as the reported death toll exceeded 200,000. Included in this number were many international personnel as well as two RCMP officers on a UN peace-keeping mission.
In response, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) requested the RCMP coordinate the disaster victim identification efforts for the repatriation of Canadian victims. Normally Interpol DVI would attempt to identify all victims regardless of nationality; however, in this case it was not possible.
As the name implies, DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) teams were created for the purpose of identifying disaster victims.
In regards to the Haiti mission, the RCMP took a multi-agency approach in building the teams – a first since DVI’s inception. This approach provided non-RCMP personnel an opportunity to gain experience in an area not normally afforded to them.
As this was deemed a “hardship” mission, each team was deployed for a period no longer than two weeks. Besides the type of work we were doing, there were challenging and unpredictable working conditions not usually experienced in our controlled environments back home.
One morning we arrived at our morgue to find it flooded out from the heavy rains overnight. We lost a day re-locating our tents and drying our gear. Some of our protective equipment was lost and a replacement shipment would take several days. It turned out positive in the end, as it provided us with an opportunity to visit our American counterpart who was able to replenish our stock. A mutually beneficial working relationship evolved as we were able to assist them the following week when their dental equipment malfunctioned.
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