What is your role with COAST?
I’m a Police Constable and a primary member of COAST working collaboratively with my paramedic partner, Stephanie.
Tell us about your career.
I joined the LPS in 2017. Prior to becoming a police officer, I worked in various research roles at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Ontario Public Service.
What interested you about working on the COAST team?
Through my work at CAMH, I developed a strong passion for supporting individuals living with mental illness and addictions. Working as a uniformed patrol officer, I consistently felt the modern demands of policing were incompatible with supporting the complex needs of many vulnerable populations. The COAST model places an emphasis on proactive outreach, support and follow-up; whereas, frontline policing largely remains reactive and time-limited as officers respond to increasingly high call volumes and complexity.
What benefits do you hope this program will provide to the community and to vulnerable populations?
London has a strong network of supportive organizations serving community members living with mental illness and addictions. However, too many people are struggling in crisis; and they feel like the only option is emergency services. At the same time, the healthcare system is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. I hope that COAST serves as the bridge that connects these folks with the professionals and services they need to support their recovery.
What do you do to support your own mental health and wellness?
My fiancé and Golden Doodle, Bernie, are my world. Our trio enjoys many family walks and trips to the dog park. I’ve made exercise a part of my daily routine. It supports my physical and mental health, and sparks creativity. The pandemic encouraged me to build a modest home gym and I use it every day! In the summer, I’ve been spotted riding a vintage riding mower attempting to cut my grass.