Behind the Badge: Inspector Lisa Lafreniere

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.

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Inspector Lisa Lafreniere has been with the Saskatoon Police Service for 29 years. She is the Inspector in charge of the Northwest Division, but she got her start on the east side of the city. The Saskatoon native grew up in the South Nutana and Eastview neighbourhoods. After graduating from Holy Cross High School, she thought she’d like to be a travel agent. But that was a very short lived dream, before she realized policing was her calling. This was made clear to her by her father, a 36 year member of the SPS. She describes him as the “epitome of neighbourhood policing.” Everybody knew him and they all asked him for advice or help, which he was more than willing to provide. She knew policing would be a good fit because she grew up around officers; she had an uncle in the RCMP, a cousin in the Ottawa Police Service, a brother in corrections. Her mother wasn’t an officer but a nurse who also worked shift work. Lisa had a pretty good idea of what life would look like if she followed the family tradition. “I knew that there would be some holidays where my folks might not be at home because of the job. But you adapt, you deal with the situation

and it just becomes a way of life.” A life she was excited about. “It’s an honorable profession, and I count myself lucky to be able to put on my uniform every day and serve the citizens of Saskatoon.  My dad gave me the gift of wanting to make a difference like he did.”

Lisa didn’t start out as an officer. At the young age of 22, she joined the service in Administration, then Central Records as a CPIC operator and File Clerk. For seven years she was a Special Constable and the calm voice on the phone in Communications as she answered emergency calls. After that, she became a regular Constable and worked her way up to the title of ‘Inspector’ she holds today. “I’ve had an opportunity to do different jobs within the police service and in every one I learned a new skill-set and have enjoyed every single unit. I’ve enjoyed my entire career. I truly believe it’s a calling.”

One of Lisa’s favourite and most rewarding aspects of her career was working with at-risk youth. She has a lot of “passion and affinity for them.” The most challenging part of the job; “I think is in Patrol when you’re the first responder, you respond to calls for service that involve a lot of tragedy and dealing with that first hand, for me, was the most challenging. Some of my most poignant memories are from my role in Patrol and going to some of those calls.” But resiliency is key, both physically and mentally. Lisa likes to set aside time to take care of herself whether it be going to the gym or catching up with close friends outside of policing. Those external relationships are important in keeping her grounded.

Although being a travel agent wasn’t in her cards, Lisa still has a passion for discovering new destinations. She’s traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Mexico, Belize, Cuba and all across North America.

A couple of her secrets; she’s an introvert and loves to write. A memoir book is not out of the question for Inspector Lisa Lafreniere’s future.

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Behind the Badge: Inspector Randy Huisman

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.

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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.”

 

 

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Behind the Badge: Inspector Patrick Nogier

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.

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For Inspector Patrick Nogier, it all started with hockey. From playing minor hockey to the WHL, and then to College. He developed a strong work ethic, a love for fitness and learned to be part of and contribute to making teams successful. All of these things he saw as parallels leading him down a path to a career in Policing.

After 24 years with the SPS, Patrick has worked in many areas including Patrol, Canine, VICE, Detention, Sask 911, Sex Crimes and Internet Child Exploitation (ICE). While he credits his five and a half years with the Canine Unit as being the most rewarding and exciting, he considers his time with the ICE Unit the most memorable.

“Working to establish the ICE unit in 2008 brought together a variety of organizations across the province to deal with a very specific problem in internet child exploitation,” he says. “We successfully established a mandate that was strong within the Province and did some ground leading work in the country that continues to this day.”

Whether it’s in the ICE Unit or responding to a tragedy on Patrol, there is this perception that Officers can disconnect or disassociate themselves from the job when they take their uniform off, but that unfortunately isn’t the case. It can have both physical and mental impacts on a person but Patrick attributes his passion for fitness and his family for helping him achieve balance.

Volunteerism is another important part of Patrick’s life outside of work and he now spends time volunteering as a hockey coach. In addition to coaching his own two kids, he has also been part of the SPS sponsored team in the Kinsmen Hockey League for the last number of years. He recognizes that the community has given him much throughout the years and hopes he can provide youth with some insight into what has been a good path for him, can potentially help them achieve some of their own goals.

Patrick has worn a lot of hats so far throughout his life, and has recently added another – pie maker. From picking the berries to making the pie crust, he does it all from scratch. Check out a few of his creations below.

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