Mrs. Lisa Gretzky: I recently had the honour of participating in a ride-along with a member of Windsor Police Services. Senior Constable Armstrong is a member of Windsor’s ESU team, which is a highly specialized unit utilized during high-risk situations.
Constable Armstrong took the time to show me around headquarters, introduce me to many of Windsor’s dedicated officers, provide me with the opportunity to meet with the frontline team that answers 911 calls and dispatches officers to locations where they are needed, and give me a tour of the holding cells.
I had the pleasure of meeting the ESU team upon their return to headquarters after a call they deemed it too unsafe for me to be at, so we couldn’t join them. They took the time to explain the scope of their work, show me the equipment they use and explain how that equipment is used and in what situations.
Constable Armstrong took me to the scene of a potential break-in where I had the opportunity to speak with patrol officers about their role in law enforcement and some of the obstacles they face on the job. It became quite clear, during my night shift ride-along, that one—if not the biggest—issue that police officers face is responding to calls for citizens with mental health issues.
Speaker, more needs to be done to provide Ontarians with mental health needs the community services required to support them, and police officers need to be recognized for the incredible work that they do in their role as not only law enforcement but intervention, counselling and compassionate care providers.
I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone in law enforcement. I think that it’s fitting that we have law enforcement officers here in the House with us today. I would like to thank the 911 and dispatch operators, officers that service the holding cells at headquarters, patrol officers, specialized units, canine officers as well as the chaplains and medical staff that give so much of themselves to keep us all safe. I have a very different and more informed view of my community and I would like to thank all law enforcement for that opportunity.