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Liaison officers

Nancy Mason, Senior Liaison Officer, The Hague, Netherlands

Nancy Mason, Senior Liaison Officer

What do you do as part of the Liaison Officer program?

Liaison officers are channels between Canadian law enforcement units and foreign police authorities. The liaison officers help through face-to-face interactions with our international partners. I work in The Hague. We have 26 countries in our area of responsibility. So maintaining the network of partnerships developed is important.

On any given day, I help with investigations. Some involve murder, drugs and money laundering, public safety and cyber related crimes. Recently, another Liaison Officer and I helped with an International Controlled Delivery for a foreign police partner. Really, there's never a dull day.

What does your work bring to you personally? Professionally?

I'm proud to be part of combating transnational criminal activity with our partners. The job brings huge personal satisfaction, knowing that you've accomplished something or solved a mystery. There is significant gratitude as well from both Canadian and foreign police agencies.

For me, the greatest thing I've learned has been the importance of our communication skills. We can have a tendency to become complacent in how we get along with each other. This usually occurs when working in familiar teams or working environments. Communication and diplomacy is critical to success as a Liaison Officer.

Have you participated in any tasks or projects that support innovative ways of thinking or innovative uses of technology?

I learned that the Dutch are skilled in technological investigations. Their National Police work closely with Canadian investigators and other foreign partners.

The RCMP will travel to The Netherlands to learn about the Dutch's implementation of their police mobile applications. They're using a "connected cop" application as a messaging and dispatching tool. If we chose to integrate a similar tool, this will help support the RCMP Digital Strategy.

Capacity building

Sergeant Adrienne Vickery, International Capacity Building and Training

Sergeant Adrienne Vickery

What was your role in International Capacity Building and Training?

I designed and delivered a five-day course on money laundering. This course was tailored for police officers, investigators and Crown counsel in Kingston, Jamaica. It promoted international cooperation and information sharing between Canada and Jamaica.

I also trained the participants how to investigate cryptocurrency crime. The cryptocurrency landscape is complex and all law enforcement authorities have to be ready to tackle the serious challenges of this type of crime.

What is the greatest thing you have learned from this unique position?

It's important to share knowledge, best practices, and lessons learned with other countries. It helps build a global economy where we can identify and prevent the misuse of our financial system.

I welcomed the chance to meet financial investigators in a foreign country. I also expanded my own knowledge and skills, and shared what I learned with my colleagues in Canada.

Women remain the minority in law enforcement but nearly half of the Jamaican course participants were female. Not only were these women strong and capable, but they fought hard to break through gender-based stereotypes to get there.

What is some advice you would offer to someone considering an opportunity with International Capacity Building and Training?

International capacity building is a unique and rewarding opportunity. The reception we received overwhelmed me. The candidates were honoured to attend a course prepared and delivered by the RCMP. This demonstrated Canada's strong international reputation and the impact of the RCMP on international capacity building. To be able to represent the RCMP and women in law enforcement was empowering and an experience I will never forget.

INTERPOL-Europol

Corporal Erin Gagné, Supervisor, INTERPOL Crime Investigation

What is your role in INTERPOL-Ottawa?

INTERPOL-Ottawa is Canada's operations centre. It's the front-line responder for Canadian police investigators and government departments that need international help with criminal matters. The Centre processes all of these requests to and from INTERPOL member countries.

I'm a supervisor and investigator within the centre. I've been in this position for about seven months. A few years ago, I worked in INTERPOL-Ottawa as an Intake Team Supervisor. I loved the position so much that I decided to come back.

In my current role, I help foreign and domestic agencies with their investigations. I also help with locating fugitives in Canada or abroad. I publish international notices and assist with any high profile cases.

What does your work bring to you personally? Professionally?

I enjoy the international aspect of INTERPOL-Ottawa, helping with investigations around the world. I also enjoy working with the people at INTERPOL. I like being able to share knowledge and learn from each other regardless of language or cultural barriers.

Working in a fast-paced environment with a large workload keeps me busy and always thinking and learning. Professionally, helping with international investigations has brought me a lot of satisfaction. It's fulfilling to be part of something so large.

Personally, the job is very flexible. I'm a member of the Tactical Troop, which takes me away from my role and duties at INTERPOL from time to time. INTERPOL-Ottawa supervisors support this commitment.

What is the greatest thing you have learned from this unique position?

It's amazing what you can learn from other police agencies. There are so many databases and contacts at our fingertips when we're part of an organization like INTERPOL. Knowing another language is also a great asset, as communication is key.

These types of resources and knowledge are so beneficial to our investigations. That's really what it comes down to with INTERPOL: connecting police for a safer world.

Peacekeeping

Superintendent Karen Ziezold, Senior Police Advisor, European Union Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support

Supt. Karen Ziezold in Ramallah, West Bank

What is your role in this mission?

My role is the Senior Police Advisor for Institutional Development and Human Resources. I have more than 34 years with the RCMP, and more than 14 years of Human Resource experience from various ranks and positions held. I'm excited to assist the Palestinian Civil Police to modernize their HR processes in the fields of:

  • Organization and class
  • Job descriptions
  • Competency-based management
  • Performance evaluations
  • Recruiting

How has COVID-19 affected your mission? Positively and negatively?

I started my deployment in Ramallah, West Bank, last March when COVID-19 was starting to rear its ugly head. I was caught in the middle when all mission members had to return to their home countries. Luckily, both the EU and the RCMP were fully supportive of working remotely from Canada. At the time, no one could have predicted how long the pandemic would last. But through it all, efforts continued to advance the mandate of the mission, and we still made progress.

It would be difficult to say that COVID-19 affected my mission positively. But what I've seen is the continued partnerships and cooperation. We were able to bridge the gap between working remotely and getting back in to theatre. It's this spirit of determination and dedication by everyone that's so heartwarming and inspiring!

What does your work bring to you personally? Professionally?

Personally, I feel extremely fortunate to be on this deployment. My RCMP colleagues, my friends, my family, and especially my amazing husband and three kids have been so encouraging. I couldn't be here without their understanding and support.

Professionally, I can use all the HR knowledge and tools that I gained over the years with the RCMP to assist an organization that could really benefit from my expertise. There are so many different countries involved in this mission. And yet, we all have the same goal – to advise and support our Palestinian Civil Police counterparts.

I love that we have different backgrounds, different cultures, different languages, and different perspectives. But we all work together. We each play an equally important role in the success of this mission. This has been an unbelievable experience and chance to do something different. It's true that it can be hard to be away from family and friends at times. But with all of the technology we have, we can stay connected very easily. We may be far from each other, but we can still feel very close!

Sergeant Laura Cluney, Gender Advisor, Canadian Police Mission Ukraine Bilateral Engagement

Sgt Laura Cluney deployed to the Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine, a bilateral engagement

What do you do as part of your mission?

I'm the Gender Advisor for the Canadian Police Mission Ukraine. I work with police academies, police training, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, and non-government organizations. Gender equality is about equal access by everyone. So I collaborate with both men and women.

Ukraine is a patriarchal society. Women are not necessarily in leadership roles. Since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, women have been allowed to join the police. They're now in many leadership roles within the various policing agencies. We all strive for gender equality and empowerment of women in law enforcement.

How has COVID-19 affected your mission? Positively and negatively?

COVID-19 has challenged the traditional way I carry out some of my duties as a gender advisor. In many ways, COVID restrictions have created a culture of inclusivity. Many more people are able to "Zoom In" and take part in gender mainstreaming conversations. We exchange ideas. We make connections in the broader gender equality community. We'll ultimately change the culture and reform the security sector by:

  • working collectively with each other
  • leveraging partnerships on a broader scale
  • provoking self-awareness about gender stereotypes within the security sector

I choose to experience COVID in a positive way. I'm using this experience to make a difference. If I'm able to influence one police officer's stereotypical perception of women and girls' roles in society, I've accomplished my task.

What is some advice you would offer to someone considering a deployment to a peace operation?

Apply. Apply. Apply. You'll make a difference in your mission because you're a leader, a role model and an educator.

I have a unique opportunity as a policewoman to collaborate with partners. I help change gender stereotypes within the law enforcement community. I'm leading by example of what's possible when given an opportunity to contribute to an organization in more than a stereotypical role.

Our Ukrainian interpreters not only help me navigate through their unique language, but through their culture. I'm able to get a broader understanding of the roles of men, women, boys and girls.

Gender is about what everyone can contribute to society. No matter what role you'll hold, remember: your experience and impact will transcend country borders and have an impact for us all.

Corporal J. Spooner, Specialized Police Team, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cpl Spooner speaks with a young boy during a trip to the Kituko region in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

What do you do in this new mission?

I'm a member of the Sexual Gender Based Violence Specialized Police Team assigned to the MONUSCO UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our team's responsibilities include:

  • outreach activities aimed at promoting services offered to victims and witnesses of sexual violence
  • training members of the National Police Force
  • mentoring police officers throughout their investigations

Our team includes five Canadian police officers, two Swedish police officers and two police officers from Tanzania. I initially worked on the Joint Assessment Mission for the project. I now lead half the team working in Bukavu, a town located on the Rwanda boarder.

How has COVID-19 affected your mission? Positively and negatively?

The COVID-19 situation delayed my deployment for almost one year. Waiting for my departure date was difficult. But the extra time allowed me to be with my family during the first wave of the pandemic.

Overall, COVID-19 has not affected my work in Congo. There are some safety measures imposed on the population and UN employees. These include curfew, travel restrictions, PCR test and quarantine. As a UN Police Officer, I'm expected to lead by example. I must ensure that I don't contribute to the spread the virus while I'm helping the population.

What have you learned, so far, from this unique position?

Witnessing the camaraderie and the respect between UN Police Officers has been incredible. I'm extremely grateful to be part of this project. This project assists the local Congolese police with their investigations while addressing the needs of victims of sexual violence. I'm convinced that my work here will have a truly positive impact on people.

I have been dreaming of working for the UN since I joined the RCMP 24 years ago. It feels special to be here because my father and my brother also did several UN missions as members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Professionally, I'm gaining tremendous experience in a variety of areas. This includes project management, partnership building and problem solving. My work with the UN provides me with the opportunity to apply my skills in a completely different context and stage. It allows me to share my knowledge and my experience with police officers from all over the world while helping vulnerable people.

Being very healthy is important! Physically for sure but also emotionally. Challenges in Congo are endless. UN Police Officers need to be positive, friendly, professional, and patient. Without a solid support network, good coping skills and a healthy body, these challenges could be quite hard to manage.

We're hiring!

The RCMP is currently seeking applicants from all walks of life to join Canada's national police service.

A policing career with the RCMP offers the chance to have a daily positive impact on Canadian communities while enjoying vast opportunities for growth and development in dozens of specialized units. If you're a dynamic, motivated individual in search of exciting adventures and inspiring challenges, we have a career that will fit you like a well-tailored uniform. Find out more about a career in policing and how to apply at rcmpcareers.ca.

A Uniform with your name on it is waiting for you.

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