With Police Week running from May 15 to 21, Greater Sudbury Police Services were hosting a series of events, including Coffee with a Detective, hosted at Starbucks on Paris Street on May 20.
Coffee with a Detective is a first for Sudbury Police and a spin off of their successful Coffee with a Cop series.
Police Week began in 1970 as a way for the police to connect with their communities and to increase awareness about the services they provide. This year, GSPS has celebrated not only with the Coffee with series, but also with ‘Meet and Greets,’ this year with both the Traffic Management Division, including a motorcycle demonstration, and with the Emergency Services Division at the Lionel E. Lalonde centre in Azilda, featuring a demonstration of the explosive disposal robot and a bomb suit.
Coffee with a Detective is a great opportunity for conversations, said Det. Staff Sgt. Barry Ornella of the GSPS Criminal Investigation Division, especially to dispel myths and offer a chance for a one on one conversation, and one outside of normal police interactions.
“it's a great opportunity for the public to have a conversation with officers outside of the typical call for service, a traffic collision or getting pulled over for a speeding ticket,” Ornella told Sudbury.com.
Detectives in the Major Crimes Division investigate crimes like homicide, human trafficking, sexual assault, frauds, and arson.
“Most often, anytime members of the public come into contact with our detectives, it's typically not under desirable circumstances,” said Ornella. “This is that opportunity to get outside of the typical call for service or traumatic event where they (the public) can ask questions and get a better understanding of how we do things. Even dispel some of those Hollywood CSI type myths and just connect with some of our local officers.”
Ornella said it is also a unique opportunity for the officers.
“It gets our officers a bit out of their comfort zone,” he said. “We're used to being the police officer, we know our role when we go to a call for service. But we don't often get to engage in conversations that are not investigation specific. I think the men and women that are here are amongst the best that we have and I'm confident they're gonna have a good time and take away something from this experience.”
It was also a great chance to talk about a career in policing, said Ornella.
“There’s no better way to get a behind the scenes understanding of the job than talking with someone who's working right now,” he said. “Policing is ever evolving; if you talk to a police officer who served 20 years ago, compared to some of those serving today, you're going to get a very different insight.”
Ornella said he would encourage anyone looking at policing as a career to reach out to an officer or the police service.
“We’ll gladly have that one on one conversation, and it's a great profession; it is a calling and we will always need police officers.”
Ornella said police are always happy to speak with the public, especially when it comes to dispelling myths and “just making sure that the person has a good understanding of how we can help.”