Retiring police inspector reflects on 33 years of service

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – After spending his life busting hardened criminals and protecting law-abiding citizens, Bob Burnie is ready to step out from behind the badge.

His 33 years with the Cornwall Community Police Service was commemorated at the 20th annual Retirement & Recognition Evening at the Ramada Inn on Oct. 23.

Nearly 150 gathered to pay Burnie homage, as well as fellow retiree Blake Paquin who served for 30 years. The two organizers of the event, the CCPS and the Cornwall Police Association, handed out dozens of service and excellence awards.

I had a great career, and I wouldn’t give it up for a minute – but I’m just looking to settle down and enjoy life,” said Burnie, 64.

The lifetime Cornwall resident started policing in August 1981.

After a year-and-a-half of working on the beat, he progressed through the ranks, holding numerous positions, including field operations, criminal investigation, support services, and the executive bureau. His last assignment was as the inspector in charge of field operations.

“The success of being a police officer is having the respect of your peers,” said Burnie. “And that’s what this annual event is all about: bringing to the forefront what the officers are doing, and what they’ve put forward in the community.”

He has served under Chiefs of Police Earl Landry, Claude Shaver, Carl Johnston, Anthony Repa, and Daniel Parkinson.

“Each of these leaders recognized Bob’s professionalism and significant contributions to providing the best possible police service to the citizens of Cornwall,” said Thom Racine, event emcee and retired CCPS Sgt.

Burnie reminisced about the old days, when he patrolled the streets on foot, remained visible in the community, shook hands, talked to business owners and local residents face-to-face.

“I think the best part, that is a little bit lacking now, was the interaction with the public that the beat gave you. It’s something that I personally gained a lot of experience doing,” he said.

CCPS Long Service Awards recipients:

35 years – Wanda Carroll, Staff Sgt. Brian Snyder

30 years – Blake Paquin

25 years – Det. Sgt. Marc Bissonnette, Sgt. Trevor Butler, Const. Constance Troutman

15 years – Const. Andrew Arbic, Sgt. Rachel Carpenter, Det. Const. Anthony Joseph, Const. Jason Kilger, Const. Jeffery Lalonde, Josee Lalonde, Staff Sgt. David Michaud, Sgt. Patrick Paquette, Det. Const. Tracey Pilon, and Sgt. Troy St. Germain.

10 years – Det. Const. Mark Anderson, Const. Dan Cloutier, Danick Dumoulin, Sgt. Chad Maxwell, and Police Chief Daniel Parkinson.

Police Board Awards of Excellence:

Investigation – Det. Const. Anthony Joseph

Dedication – Const. Andrew Arbic and Const. Sherri Cameron

Dedication – Const. Justin Wheeler

Community Service – Const. James Lemoyre, Const. Brian Langlois, and Const. Casey MacGregor

Innovation – Lawrence Silmser

Ontario Police Fitness Pin Awards recipients

15 years – Sgt. Scott Coulter,  Sgt. George Knezevic, and Const. Patrick Paquette.

5 years – Constables Matthew Lemire, Michel Riel, Scott Bonneville, and Patrick Depratto.

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