An encounter with NWPD Const. Curtis Heath may have resulted in "a lot of tickets and fees" but it also changed a person's life for the better and inspired them to help others.
The police board’s January agenda included a Dec. 14 email to the New Westminster Police Department’s professional standards unit in which a writer thanked Const. Curtis Heath and the NWPD for helping them months earlier when they were in a very toxic and self-destructive space in their life while dealing with their past and current (at that time) traumas of abusive relationships.
“My life seemed as though it was spiralling, and I had an escalated altercation with Const. Heath. At the time I was very ungrateful for his support but I realized he actually helped me change the course of my life,” said the email. “He put my mental health first in a situation where I had no regard for my life.”
Heath is a member of the NWPD’s traffic unit, where one of his roles is enforcing the BC Motor Vehicle Act.
The writer, whose name was withheld, said the outcome of their encounter with Heath “a lot of tickets and fees.”
“But more importantly, I took the step of entering an outpatient program in regards to coping with the challenges I have gone through in my life in a healthy way,” said the email. “It helped me put my mental and physical health first, and it’s helped me become an advocate for women and the very real situations we encounter a daily basis in regards to domestic violence and abuse. By helping myself work through disconnecting from an abusive cycle, I was able to share my story, become confident in who I am, and help others.”
The writer thanked Heath for helping them and their family, saying his efforts mean more than they can explain.
“Your decision that day helped me change a lot of decisions in my life and inspired me to help others,” said the writer.
New Westminster police board has filled its vacancies on the British Columbia Association of Police Boards.
The non-profit’s role is to promote the public’s understanding of police boards and their role in the community, to develop and maintain the highest standards of professionalism and accountability on part of police boards and to liaise with the province on policing issues. New Westminster is one of 13 municipal police departments in B.C.
At its Jan. 17 meeting, the board appointed Drew Hart as its representative to the BCAPB and Heather Boersma as its alternate.
“I think the board knows the importance right now, especially, of advocacy on many levels,” said New Westminster Police Department Chief Const. Dave Jansen. “And I think that your provincial body is really trying to do a lot of great work in regards to some advocacy on really important issues for yourselves, so if we could get someone that'd be awesome.”