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, fathers, 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.
Inspector Randy Huisman wanted to be police officer ever since he was a boy. “From a very young age, I was always interested in police work simply from watching T.V. shows and being outside playing and seeing police vehicles with sirens on heading out to a call.”
Randy was born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta. After high school, he attended Lethbridge Community College’s Law Enforcement Program, achieving a diploma in Natural and Social Sciences. His first job took him to the Peace River area in Alberta where he worked in corrections. Randy’s interest in Saskatoon was sparked after hearing an SPS member talk about how busy the small city was. He also recalls hearing how it was one of the sunniest cities in Canada. He became a constable in patrol in 1987. Now, 30 years later, Randy is the Inspector in charge of Saskatoon’s Central Division. But a lot happened in that time.
He got his feet wet in patrol covering Saskatoon’s west and central areas. After 12.5 years on patrol, Randy took a plain-clothes officer position in the VICE unit. He worked there for nearly four years. He was later charged to assist with a very large task; creating a new unit that would focus on gangs in Saskatoon. After that, he joined the Major Crime unit as a homicide investigator. This was his favourite position in the service. “You’re taking probably the ultimate investigation that a police officer could work on and sometimes you’re starting from scratch with nothing, and you’re building a case through – and I like talking with people, so through interviewing witnesses, canvassing neighbourhoods, doing suspect interviews…gathering up all that evidence to a successful conclusion.” Although this position holds some of Randy’s fondest memories, it also presented him with, what he calls the worst part of the job; notifying families when their loved one had died. After nine years in Major Crime, Randy was promoted in the ranks to ‘Staff Sergeant,’ then Staff Sergeant of Major Crime, followed by his most recent promotion to Inspector in charge of Central Division. Working with the community, listening to its needs and concerns, and reciprocating that back to the service is very rewarding to Randy.
Although he admits he can be a work-a-holic, he also enjoys his time away from the police station with family and friends as well as fishing. His favourite way to enjoy the outdoors and take in the scenery is behind the handle bars of a motorcycle; his 2009 Harley Davidson Heritage Soft Tail, to be exact. “If I can get out each year for a one-week boys trip, that’s one of the things I really look forward to. We like to go put on as many miles as we can, go tour Canada and the United States. I’m a very social person so we get to stop and talk to numerous people along the way, and there are great stories to be told.”
So why wasn’t he a motorcycle officer in the Traffic unit? He never liked writing tickets, but was a little disappointed he didn’t join the unit when he found out officers could ride motorcycles during the summer months. But he never regretted the decisions he made that have led him to where he is today. “Wherever you’re working in police work, you have a great opportunity to help people.”