New police vehicles honour Canadian Forces
The newly branded Belleville police cruisers will feature a special tribute to the Canadian Forces.
Belleville police Chief Ron Gignac unveiled the new look for Belleville police vehicles during a ceremony at the Belleville Cenotaph on Friday morning.The all-black Chevrolet Tahoe features POLICE and BELLEVILLE in bright white lettering on the sides, along with a red maple leaf and red and blue striping. All of it is in reflective taping to stand out.
And all the newly branded vehicles the force rolls out over the next three and a half years will feature a yellow “Support Our Troops” ribbon on the back.
Gignac said the ribbon was a way for the local police service to show its ongoing support to armed forces members and their families, veterans and their families and Silver Cross families.
“To those who serve, to their families and for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we salute you and we thank you,” Gignac said. “We salute you for as long as we serve and live.”
Acting Sgt. Barry Lannin, speaking on behalf of the police service, noted there is a long standing connection between police and military, not just because many military members have served, but because many officers have family members that did as well.
“This is a bond that makes us family,” Lannin said. “Here by the cenotaph, by this monument to those who gave the ultimate service, we want you to know how much appreciate your hard work and your dedication to service.”
On behalf of the police service membership Lannin presented a donation of $1,000 to Support Our Troops.Col. Colin Keiver, commander of 8 Wing Trenton, said he was truly humbled by the action of the police in paying tribute to the forces.
“We live here in the community and the community has always welcomes us with open arms,” he said. “This means to the world to us.
“It’s recognition that what we do is important to others and the fact we live in this community and the community wants to recognize us like this, I think is great.”
Major Ray Van Den Berg from the Hastings Prince Edward regiment offered the “heartfelt thanks” of the regiment to the police force for their recognition.
He noted that it is not only armed forces members who put their lives at risk in service, but police officers as well.
“Police also put themselves in situations from which they don’t return home,” he said. “In this, we are not just comrades, we are family. And I can assure you the support goes both ways.”Gignac said afterward that he and the rest of the force wanted to do something to keep alive the fact that the Forces continue to serve around the world even when their service isn’t necessarily well known.
He noted that while conflicts like Afghanistan are becoming a memory and part of history, Canadian Forces members continue to make a difference across the globe.
“With the dedication of the yellow ribbon we wanted to make sure that our Canadian Forces members and our citizens realize what they mean to us,” Gignac said.
“So how could we as the Belleville police show our steadfast support for the Canadian Forces? I think there is no better way than to put it on every one of our new vehicles coming out. It will always be there. And so will our support.”
Keiver noted the entire family of first responders is a tight knit community who share that common trait of putting others before themselves.
“That is really, really important to them and that’s important to the Canadian Forces as well,” he said. “The fact that there is that link and they have chosen to recognize it like this further strengthens those bonds between us.”
Gignac agreed, noting members of the forces and police often think the same, and act the same, particularly when it comes to the philosophy of service first.
“It’s not a matter of recognition,” he said. “We are looking to serve. The distinct relationship we have with our brothers and sisters in the armed forces is that we take that level of service to a level of doing for others 24/7, 365 days a year and at times we risk our lives for it.
“And we do that willingly.”
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