Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Acknowledge Constable Zeh's "Good Turn"

"There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it."

Seneca (c. 4 BC - AD 65)

Some might say this quote means that us armchair quarterbacks think we deserve some type of credit for the heroic deeds of others if we simply say "nice work". Personally, I think it tells us how important it is to say "thank you" when a police officer does a truly heroic thing...that no one would blame him if he hadn't stepped up to do it because of the sheer danger involved.

There is no shortage of criticism and blame to go around when something goes bad in an interaction between police and members of the public...and the mainstream media will ensure that every possible inflammatory headline they can imagine will be plastered about. Obviously, I have been willing to write my critical views on such topics as well.

So, it is with the greatest sincerity that I invite all members of the criminal justice system in Calgary to shake the hand of Constable Zeh when you see him...for this father of two jumped into the Elbow River while off-duty almost two years ago and freed a trapped kayaker not once but twice before pulling her to safety...and now he will receive a Governor General's Medal of Bravery:

These stories are all too often forgotten when we engage in debate of police misconduct or when, as defence lawyers, we spend much of our days challenging the testimony of officers on the witness stand.

I am honored to know that Constable Zeh is one of the many CPS officers working to keep our city safe and I hope that my colleagues do take the opportunity to acknowledge his bravery if they cross his path in the midst of the daily grind.

Thank you Constable Zeh.


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