SPS Member Finds Kidney Donor

SPS Civilian Member Monica Goulet

“I’ve been floating on a cloud.” That’s how SPS civilian member Monica Goulet has been feeling since finding out a match had been found for a kidney transplant. Monica had kidney issues throughout her life. She was born with a defective kidney, but in her 20’s she found out that it was only working at 60 percent. In 2011 her condition worsened and her life changed dramatically. In 2015 she was placed on a list to receive a transplant, since then it’s been a waiting game.

There were five volunteers among Monica’s friends and family who went through testing, but none were a good match. That was until February 14th this year. Monica’s nephew Jimmy Searson of La Ronge had also volunteered to be tested and on that day they received the good news, Jimmy’s kidney was a good match! Both Jimmy and Monica are excited about the match and the future it promises. “He’s my hero right now,” says Monica.

Monica has many plans in the years to come. She wants to return to work as soon as she can. She also wants to write a book about her experiences, and use her knowledge to help others going through the transplant process. “That’s going to be part of my mission in life; helping others with transplant education. You can live very comfortably with one kidney for many years as long as you take care of it.”

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Ident: Connecting the Dots with DNA

“Without a doubt, it is getting harder and harder to get away with crime,” this from Trent Emigh, the Staff Sergeant of the SPS Forensic Identification Unit. Trent has worked in the unit for 2.5 years, but has been investigating crime scenes throughout his career. He became an officer with the Saskatoon Police Service in 1985.

The Saskatoon Police Service Forensic Identification Unit, commonly referred to as “Ident,” works closely with Patrol officers and the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) throughout their investigations. Ident is responsible for attending crime scenes to   document evidence with photos and videos, collecting and processing evidence, documenting victims’ injuries and attending autopsies, submitting evidence to the RCMP Forensic Lab and securely storing exhibits during court proceedings. The unit also collects and stores criminal, as well as some civilian, fingerprints.

Crime scenes are processed by Ident for evidence relating to the identity of the suspect and/or to connect the suspect to the crime. What the investigators look for are viable DNA sources; blood, saliva (cigarette butts, gum, etc.), semen, sweat, dead skin, hair, fingerprints as well as shoe and tire prints. DNA is essentially a biological fingerprint.

One of the most beneficial aspects of Ident is the National DNA Data bank full of hundreds of thousands of people’s DNA that will never expire. If the same DNA is found at a different crime scene, the investigators can link multiple crimes often leading to a stronger case in court against a suspect. Emigh has seen it in action. “The most I am personally aware of is one offender who was linked by DNA to seven different scenes; three were from British Columbia, two were from Alberta and two were from Saskatchewan.”

DNA stands as solid evidence, but it’s not quick evidence…although many people have fallen victim to the “CSI Effect.” Crimes on T.V. dramas can be solved in seconds!…often using a hologram. That’s not how it works. Results take time. The DNA sample has to be sent away to a lab for analysis and results typically come back in 90 days.

DNA not only assists in solving recent crimes, but also historical crimes. “In Policing, there can be some challenges in pursuing historical charges, however DNA is sound and incredibly powerful evidence.” Emigh recalls a case from 2005; Police investigated three separate break-and-enters where the suspect had conveniently left his saliva behind. Unfortunately at the time, there was no matching offender profile in the DNA data bank. But this offender wasn’t a one-hit wonder. He committed another offence earlier this year. Once his DNA was submitted for analysis, investigators were able to link him to his previous crimes. He’s facing charges relating to those three, 12 year old B&E’s, as well as his most recent crime.

The National DNA data bank is growing as quickly as people are committing crimes. DNA profiles may soon be developed from exhibits that were previously deemed insufficient, as technology evolves. 3-D cameras and software now allow for more efficient recording of crime scenes, evidence and mapping. At the end of the day, innovations in technology and a growing DNA data bank are only making the career of a criminal less and less viable.

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Behind the Badge: Chief Clive Weighill

On Sunday, Police Officers from across the country will gather at different memorials to honour those that have fallen in the line of duty. Those that have tragically given their lives were mothers, father, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends and colleagues. They had interests and hobbies, passions… lives outside of the uniform they wore on a daily basis.

In anticipation of the upcoming Saskatchewan Police & Peace Officer Memorial, we wanted to show you a few of those men and women, and who they are #BehindTheBadge. Throughout the week, we are featuring officers who have sworn to protect our community and hope you will learn a little bit more about them as human beings, not just Police Officers.

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Having had dreams of being an auto mechanic growing up in Regina, things took a turn for Clive when his vehicle was stolen as a teenager. He can remember going into the Regina Police Service to file a report and speaking with an officer that seemed to genuinely care.

That interaction had an impact, and so when he saw a RPS recruiting ad in the paper, he threw his hat in the ring. “They were looking to hire 26 Constables very quickly. I applied on October 1st and was hired by October 31st,” he recalls.

As his career in Policing progressed, promotion was never something that he thought very much of, but stayed the path as different opportunities arose. Forty-three years later and a few moves up through the ranks, he is set to turn in his kit on October 6th, having been Chief of the Saskatoon Police Service for over a decade.

Apart from marrying his wife Lois, Clive says that working for the SPS was one of the best things that happened to him. He was given so much from the community and members of the SPS.

One of his favourite parts of the job was meeting people, and as Chief, he met plenty through the events and functions to which he felt fortunate to be invited. He actually credits them as contributing to keeping him relaxed despite the stresses and pressures as a Chief. He has joked that he needn’t have bought groceries during the first year he was hired because he was always invited to events in the community. But that was Clive – dedicated to the community.

While the Police Service enjoyed many accolades and achievements over his tenure, Clive is always quick to credit the men and women who have supported him. “One man doesn’t walk alone. It’s the men and the women, sworn and civilian, that have been hauling the freight and that’s how the Police Service has gotten its great reputation.”

Credit: The StarPhoenix

While Clive never became an auto mechanic, his passion for cars hasn’t faded. His favourite car is a 1956 Crown Victoria, but he and Lois enjoy cruising around in his 1985 Corvette. Saskatoon’s Show & Shine weekend is particularly fun for the two of them to see a bunch of old cars and show theirs off too.

After a one-off experience in Regina 15 years ago, the Weighill’s discovered an enjoyment for marching band competition. One of their first post-retirement trips will be down to the U.S. “If we hit the circuit properly, about four weekends in a row, we can go to different cities and take in a competition.”

He leaves the Police Service with the following words for his colleagues: “Thank you very much for the way that Lois and I were treated. We felt very welcomed in Saskatoon and supported. When I came here, people were willing to change and gave me the benefit of the doubt. I was lucky I came when the organization was ready for change.”

“Anywhere I’ve gone, I’ve always been proud when people ask me what I do for a living; I’m a Police Officer. And I guess that will be one of the hardest things – I’ll no longer be ‘Clive the Cop’”.

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