In February, the city of Delta experienced the heroic actions of Acting-Sgt. John Jasmins. While picking his children up from school he witnessed an assault taking place and intervened. His police training kicked in and he literally risked his own life to save another. He suffered significant injuries, as did the victim, and thankfully both survived.
This event unfolded in public and resulted in significant media coverage. Delta police received well-wishes for John from across Canada. There is absolutely no doubt that John is a hero for his brave actions. His recovery will take some time, but he will be back at work as soon as he is ready.
While these types of situations result in significant attention — and rightfully so — there are daily heroic acts that take place amongst the ranks of our Delta police officers. In fact, the vast majority of things we do go unnoticed, yet contribute to the quality of life for our residents. Helping a woman leave a violent relationship or arresting a drug dealer that was distributing deadly fentanyl-laced drugs into our community are acts that prevent tragedies. They are not simple accomplishments; often these types of circumstances require hours and days of preparation and planning, most of which goes unnoticed by anyone.
An investigator who persists in the face of a serious crime, seeking the truth and a resolution to a tragic circumstance, has no doubt prevented further crimes. A traffic member who stands on the side of a highway, with cars speeding past him or her, is working to prevent serious motor vehicle accidents. School liaison officers that work after-hours with families to keep a teenager from making poor choices can change the trajectory of a life.
This work changes people’s stories. When a person is not victimized by an assault, or is not injured in a car accident, no one will ever know. But we know the work we put into keeping our communities safe and that is one of the key reasons this career is so amazing. When we do our jobs well, we are unknowingly committing “upstream” heroic acts.
Just because they are never noticed or attributed, that doesn’t lessen their effect or value. Indeed, the fact that such acts are unattributed makes them even nobler.
John Jasmins is a hero, period. However, the DPD officers doing great work every day in preventing crime and keeping us safe are also my heroes.
Neil Dubord is the chief constable of the Delta Police Department.