Beyond the Badge - Keeping the legacy alive

June 5, 2017 - 12:18pm

When Gordon Earl, the previous Medicine Hat Police Chief, passed away suddenly in October of 2008, we as a service we wanted to find a way to celebrate his legacy in a manner that would honour Gord, his family and also bring value to the community.

Gord was a father and grandfather and someone who always had a passion for connecting with youth throughout his career. He was instrumental in bringing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program to schools in Medicine Hat, which was designed to be delivered by police officers to grade 6 students. DARE has since been replaced with a MHPS developed program, Encouraging Positive Informed Choices (EPIC), which now reaches students in Grades 4, 6, and 8 and encourage kids to make positive and healthy decisions.

In memory of Gord, the Chief Earl Leadership Legacy Program was created with a concept or raising money through an annual charity BBQ that would recognize and award Grade 6 students who had demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and the MHPS core values of integrity, accountability, respect and courage. Since its inception in 2008, the Chief Earl Leadership Legacy Fund has awarded 86 local students with scholarships. This year, 20 additional students will be presented with awards. Over the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing young people who have received the scholarship, and am always thrilled at the pride and excitement of the students as they receive their award.

Since the expansion of our facility was completed two years ago, we have combined the Chief Earl Leadership Legacy Fund BBQ and scholarship presentation with a Police Service open house event. Our facility, for the most part, is closed to the public during the course of our normal work, but on Saturday June 10th, we are once again opening the doors to allow our community to come in and take a peak. The open house event, which runs from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., provides an opportunity to learn more about the MHPS and its operations through presentations and displays, as well as a tour of the museum and building. In addition, there will be information provided about some of our specialty teams, partner agencies and opportunities to volunteer with the MHPS, as well as demonstrations by our K9 teams. The police service website has a full list of planned activities and events.

The feedback we receive from those who have attended in the past has been overwhelming positive and has encouraged us to continue to offer the opportunity. On behalf of the Medicine Hat Police Service and the Gordon Earl family, I would like to invite you come down to our station, celebrate with the scholarship recipients, have a burger to support the legacy fund, and take a look at our facility. I guarantee you that you will see our officers in a new perspective and learn just how passionate they are about what they do in providing service to our community.

For a complete list of planned activities and events, visit www.mhps.ca

Police Chief Andy McGrogan has been a member of the Medicine Hat Police Service for 37 years, and has been serving as chief since 2008.

Beyond the Badge
By Medicine Hat Police Service