© Ashley Thompson
Sgt. Leanne Macdonald, of the Windsor RCMP, received the Atlantic Women in Law Award for Leadership.
A Windsor RCMP member is one of four Nova Scotia-based officers to win a 2013 Atlantic Women in Law award.
Sgt. Leanne Macdonald, operations NCO for the Windsor District RCMP, recently received the Atlantic Women in Law Award for Leadership.
Macdonald, the direct supervisor of 22 employees, says news that Staff Sgt. Dan Austin, district commander of the Windsor RCMP, nominated her for the award — and she actually won — came as a pleasant surprise.
“You do your job every day because it’s your job,” she said. “It is my job to provide direction and guidance, so to be recognized for the work I have done is a great feeling.”
The win may have surprised Macdonald, but it came as no shock to Austin.
He says the only challenge he had in nominating Macdonald for the leadership award was condensing all of his praise into just three pages.
“I think she is probably one of the top operationsNCOsin the province,” he said.
“As the district commander I am very fortunate to have this lady sitting here.”
Macdonald, originally of Cooks Brook, Nova Scotia, began her career in policing nearly 22 years ago. As a new recruit, she had no idea she would later become the first African Nova Scotian female hired by the RCMP in Nova Scotia and the first black female to be promoted to the rank of corporal in Canada.
Whether she’s in her office reviewing the details of a difficult case, working alongside her colleagues in the community or at home with her two children, Macdonald is determined to be a positive role model for others.
“I very much believe in leading by example,” she said.
At ages four and nine, her children already have a thorough understanding of right and wrong, and a somewhat exaggerated idea of what their mother does for a living.
“They think that anybody that’s doing something wrong gets thrown in jail by Mommy,” Macdonald joked.
It’s impossible to predict how a day on the job will unfold. Plans change instantaneously, regardless of how demanding Macdonald’s schedule may be.
Macdonald says aspiring police officers should obey the law, concentrate in school, focus on fitness and know the job is outright terrifying at times.
“You have to be prepared for the inevitable scary call. We don’t have the luxury of opting out of things. You don’t have the option to not attend a motor vehicle accident. You don’t have the option to not go and arrest the guy that’s twice your size.”
It’s a tough profession without question, but Macdonald says she is proud to serve the public as a member of the RCMP.
“I love the community. I love people.”