Latest Edmonton Police Service graduates focus on giving back to community

Graduates of the Edmonton Police Service’s newest recruit training course look forward to connecting with Edmonton residents and giving back to the community in their new roles.

On Thursday afternoon, 40 Edmonton police officers and one Lakeshore Regional Police Service officer officially graduated as part of recruit training class 156 at City Hall.

Among the graduates was Const. Sam Hakim, who grew up in BC before joining the Canadian Armed Forces in 2006 and finally being posted to Edmonton in 2009, where he has made his home ever since.

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“I spent 16 years in the Canadian Forces and did a couple of deployments in the Middle East, one in Afghanistan in 2011 and one in 2019,” said the 34-year-old. “I decided to just change gears at some point. I was fascinated by police work from an early age, even before I joined the military. But I no longer wanted to serve my country and go abroad, I wanted to serve my community.”

Hakim said he looks forward to getting involved in the community, especially the Iranian community.

“Even walking around the street, I hear people speaking Farsi,” he said. “It gave me a spark to approach and reconnect with my heritage. So I want to help bridge that gap with the community that is growing here and represent the Iranian and Afghan communities.”

constant Craig Allen is another officer celebrating graduation on Thursday. The 45-year-old was born and raised in Jamaica and came to Edmonton in 2016. Before joining the Edmonton Police Department, he had project management leadership experience.

Constable Craig Allen poses for a photo prior to a graduation ceremony for Edmonton Police Service Recruit Training Class 156 at Edmonton City Hall, Friday, June 16, 2023. Forty officers completed their training as members of the Edmonton Police Service and one as a member of the Lakeshore Regional Police Service. Photo by David Bloom /mail media

Allen said he was drawn to the police force because its core values ​​aligned with his own – respect, courage, community and diversity.

“I want to go into the community and make a difference in at least one person every time I go into the community. And that person can also spread the news to other people in the community,” he said.

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“I think people can trust the police more and open up to them whenever they come into the community.”

He said police officer training is all about giving back to the community.

“My wife always wanted to come to Canada and when we did our research Edmonton was the place for us to grow our family. “We have two children, a boy and a girl, ages 16 and 11,” Allen said. “We wanted to call our home here. Edmonton is such a beautiful place and coming here and joining the police force is my way of giving back to Edmonton and saying thank you.”

This latest training course for recruits took the initiative to get involved in the community and donated 1,100 volunteer hours of their free time. They helped support Ukrainian refugees, met with students and staff at schools, and supported causes like Special Olympics, the Society for the Blind, the ALS Society, military veterans, and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

They also attended the Sikh Nagar Kirtan Parade in Edmonton and the regimental funeral of fallen police officers Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan.


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