- How long you have been at the Police Service. What Unit do you work for and your job title?
Nora Vedress - Chaplain
- Can you provide a general description of your week-to-week duties?
Volunteer chaplain with the police. Here to offer mental, emotional and spiritual support for any members that need it. Also work closely with administration and I sit on the Mental Wellness Committee. I also take part in formal police ceremonies.
- What training/education did you take for the job?
Masters in Divinity and I'm the minister of the United Church in town. I've also taken various programs through the Police Chaplain Association of Canada.
- Why did you decide to do this career?
They asked me. What drew me to it was realizing what our police officers go through on a daily basis — those emotions have to go somewhere. Sometimes that has to come out and providing a safe, non-judgemental place and they can talk about what is going on with their heart and soul... it's an honour being able to help them unpackage that. It was an eye-opener once I started here what officers see and deal with on a daily basis.
- What's the most enjoyable/rewarding part of your career?
Listening and being invited into those spaces. I know it's not easy for members so when they do open up — that is big.
- Any advice for women who may encounter sexism or other challenges and obstacles in the workplace?
Speak up, the days of just taking it are over. Don't doubt your own ability. Trust your credentials and your education and your ability.
- Who were your heroes or role models growing up?
I had some really great teachers. They were both very encouraging (two music teachers) they were focused on letting me claim my voice.
- What are some things you wish you could tell the younger version of yourself?
It's going to be okay. You can do this. You do have talent and skill. You don't need to be perfect all the time. Don't be afraid to speak up. Don't be afraid to say no.
- Do you have any message you would like to say for young girls out there?
If you have a passion follow it. Don't let gender roles define who you are. Don't be afraid to break a mould and do something different. Don't be afraid to do something because someone says you aren't capable because of your gender... work hard and achieve your goals.