Ingrid Berkeley-Brown

As the youngest of 11 children born to a housewife and police officer father, whom passed away when I was six years old, in Georgetown Guyana, the importance of family, trust, resiliency, and relationships were presented to me at birth.

In 1974 I immigrated to Canada and spent my formative years on Driftwood Court in the Jane-Finch community. Through happenstance I met a young black male officer from Toronto Police service in 1981 who suggested a policing career.  After applying to TPS I was rejected due to being underweight.  Dejected but undeterred I continued the process.  Five years later in 1986 I applied to several services and the Peel Regional Police was the first to call and so began my journey in policing.
 
My journey with the Peel Regional Police stretched beyond the realm of just being a job; becoming a member of the force was life altering; it molded me into the mature and confident individual (woman) I am today.  Throughout my early years I made the conscious decision to be an influencer of change particularly within our community by making the decision to apply to the Community Services and Race & Ethnic Relations bureaus at Peel, this provided me the ability build stronger bridges of communication with our community.  These opportunities provided me with greater insight, empathy, deep introspection and the mechanisms necessary for understanding people’s actions – why they decide to do what they do.
 
These strides towards positive change were met with personal adversity encountered throughout my policing journey. Whether it was not being selected for a transfer or promotion, being one of a handful of black females in corporate settings, or simply feeling outside of my comfort zone – it was through persistence and determination learned from childhood that I was able to overcome and preserve – failure is never an option.

These experiences stressed the importance of a mentor, someone for guidance whether personal, career centred, or a melding of the two. Retirement for me is an opportunity to continue my relationships with community organizations acquired throughout three decades of policing service. By reaching outside of myself and providing assistance to local community organizations, I see this as my legacy as an extension from my service at Peel Regional Police.


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