"When it's a full moon, we're very busy!"
I had a fun conversation with Eddie O'Toole about his work and life as a Detective Constable.
Watch and listen to the conversation here.
After university, Eddie had a career in sales and marketing for many years before he decided to make the change to a career in policing.
He's a Detective Constable and has been doing this work for thirteen years. He loves his work. In the Major Crime Unit, on a daily basis Eddie deals with street crime. He works in undercover cars most of the time. He handles street robberies, bank robberies, and situations involving drugs, guns, and break-and-enters.
He explains that his work is "not really" stressful, but it can be. "It's how you deal with it. You've got to learn to deal with it. Things are going to get crazy and hectic. You need to learn to not take stuff home, and not take personally what you see on the job."
His current work week he refers to as "the eight and six:" eight days on, six days off. His work is social, but he makes sure to maintain social relationships outside of his work, separate from his colleagues, to manage stress.
Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:
there is good job security in policing.
work is different every day.
a university background is not required to get into Police College, but it's preferred.
they like to see volunteer experience and community involvement in students/candidates wanting to work in police services. Eddie has been part of Big Brothers for many years.
his favourite part of the the job: "I like to talk a lot. The community is great. It's not all bad. I got to know everybody. Everybody has a different story."
there's constant training available for police officers. Professional development is encouraged.
surprises? "The calls. What you see on the streets every day. My eyes were opened. What goes on in the world. How people are treated."
people skills, and knowing how to talk to people.
get rid of attitude.
having a second language is huge because of the diversity in the city.
have some life experience already, when you apply to work on the force.
stay out of trouble.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF (and Eddie answered with a big smile on his face):
listen more to my parents.
get into policing sooner.
This conversation was fascinating and I could tell how much Eddie enjoys his work, and the people he services in his community.
Thank you Eddie for sharing your stories and ideas with our audience!
This interview was taped during the COVID19 pandemic, June 2020.