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Back home after a remarkable few days in Ontario with first responders – first an evening with the Halton Region Police Service families and then a keynote with the Ontario Police Chiefs in Kingston. I have always had a huge admiration for police officers and the commitment it takes to be a police family. I was a Civilian Member of the RCMP early in my career. I have often marveled at how little (read very little) support there is for first-responder families in this world. And just how much police organizations don’t talk about mental health – in the people they serve and those doing the serving. Those things were part of the conversations we had this week. See, the job of any first responder, in my humble opinion, is to proverbially “walk people home” in some of their most vulnerable, dysregulated moments. Police officers are rarely called when shit is going well. We will never, ever obliterate emotional dysregulation in this world. Thus, we will always need the “walkers”. The focus for the rest of my career, friends, is how to best support these walkers so they can compassionately, with purpose, continue their holy work, and be better because of it. Ontario – thank you for having me at the table. It was an honour.

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