Canadian Police Heroes: Beyond the Call of Duty.
Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.
Based on interviews and secondary sources, the contents of Canadian Police Heroes’s 10 chapters, which range in length from nine to 12 pages, readably chronicle the exploits of 11 police officers from seven different provinces who went beyond the call of duty in carrying out their responsibilities. With the exception of two policemen, the remainder performed their heroic acts between 1995 and 1999. Although Pederson’s selection criteria required an officer’s action to have been publicly celebrated by a medal or other citation, she incorporated the 1986 actions of Winnipeg’s Mitch McCormick to illustrate that heroic acts often go unrecognized. Though falling significantly outside the other entries’ time span, Bob Speidel’s 1965 encounter with a rifle-wielding man in Saskatoon, SK, was included to demonstrate the changing standards regarding what constitutes “above and beyond.” Fire and water rescues, plus responding to domestic disputes which turn out to involve armed individuals, account for the settings for the majority of the officers’ acts of heroism. Heroism of a difference sort was displayed by Nova Scotia’s Kevin Scott, who challenged the commonly held macho attitude that any police officer who reacted negatively to stress was indicating personal weakness. Likely, only one of the book’s events would be familiar to a national audience, that being Dennis Reimer’s involvement in the1999 school shooting in Tabor, AB. Oddly, only the first three entries are accompanied by a black and white photo of the hero. Recommended.