October marks the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month in Canada. A time to celebrate and reflect on the achievements and contributions of women and girls from our past and present. Members of The Edmonton Police Service don’t have to look far for knowledge and inspiration. The service has a long history of strong female members who have left their mark and blazed a path for others.
Some of the most notable are the likes of former EPS Superintendent Deb Jolly and Constable Beverly MacLean. Both are highly regarded and have awards named in their honour.
“SOMETHING WE SHOULD STRIVE FOR”
“Realizing that someone else had the same passion as I have means a lot… knowing that other women tried to pave the way for me, and that's what I'm trying to do for others,” said Sgt. Meagan McIntyre who was named a co-winner of the Beverly MacLean Legacy Award this year. The award was granted to McIntyre for her work in the community.
“IT RESTORES FAITH IN HUMANITY”
McIntyre is involved in several community projects including the Buffalo Sage Wellness House which helps conditionally released and federally sentenced Indigenous female offenders. McIntyre is a mentor for the mother and child program and was paired up with an expectant mother named Gaylen. McIntyre helped her through the pregnancy and was there for the delivery.
“The baby’s name is Lincoln and I’ve been working with Gaylen ever since. I’m actually an advocate for her parole hearing,” said McIntyre.
The 15-year veteran won the community service award through Native Counselling Services of Alberta and was given a Star blanket from Buffalo Sage Wellness House. McIntyre says the whole experience taught her more than she could have learned as a police officer.
“The job is hard, and it shows you the worst of people, and when you do this type of work, it has shown me that people are capable of changing. It just takes a lot of effort and patience and time.”
“ENCOURAGE, MENTOR AND EMPOWER”
McIntyre says she has followed the lead of others in EPS and intends to lead by example herself and get others involved.
“It’s exactly what I’m trying to do here. Encourage, mentor and empower women on this job,” said McIntyre.
When asked what she wants her female colleagues to think about during Women’s History Month?
“Don’t let people discourage you from what you want to do here…There are roadblocks here and everyone hits them but it’s your perseverance that will get you through.”