Cornwall Police officer inspires local author

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Cornwall Police officer inspires local author
Pictured is Dr. Yuan-Innes with Sgt. Coulter. Submitted photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The latest book by local author and emergency room doctor Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes takes inspiration from a real-life encounter that happened to a member of the Cornwall Police Service (CPS).

The new novel Graveyard Shift is inspired by an event that took place one night in May 2017. CPS Sgt. Scott Coulter was at the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) when he encountered an individual trespassing in a restricted area of the facility.

The 25-year CPS veteran found that the individual in question was in possession of several stolen narcotics.

“The security guards tipped off Sergeant Coulter, who was able to apprehend the suspect red-handed,” said Dr. Yuan-Innes, who had just began her shift. “But if he hadn’t caught the suspect and confiscated those potentially lethal medications, I immediately pictured the resulting overdoses, respiratory arrests, and the chaos in the emergency department and on the streets.”

Sgt. Coulter said it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

“It’s not uncommon for myself and other officers to visit the hospital during a night shift to check on and ensure the safety of staff and patients,” he said. “In this case, I was fortunate to already be on scene and able to prevent the medication from leaving the site and getting into the wrong hands.”

“I salute Sgt. Coulter and the security guards because they prevented the problem,” Dr. Yuan-Innes added. “I want to acknowledge the silent heroes and heroines.”

Some of the proceeds from the sale of Graveyard Shift will go to Dr. Elana Fric’s children’s scholarship, as well as the Akwesasne Family Wellness Program. Dr. Elana Fric was a Toronto physician who was murdered by her husband in 2016. Dr. Yuan-Innes has dedicated the book to her.

Graveyard Shift goes on sale Nov. 1 and Dr. Yuan-Innes will be having a book signing at Coles at the Cornwall Square on Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. and will also be at the Cornwall Public Library on Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. with Sgt. Coulter.

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