Women's Recruiting

Women at DRPS

DRPS wants to highlight some of the exceptional work of women that are a part of our organization. 

We have women working in every branch at Durham Regional Police Service, and we're proud to celebrate and highlight three outstanding female members. See below for interviews from Gill Lock, Hannah Elkington and Jenn Beattie who share their stories of how they became DRPS members, their achievements and reasoning for embarking in this career path. 

Why Work Here?


Why did you choose a career in policing?

  • I have always been interested in Canadian law and policing. The main reason I was interested in policing was to help people and hold criminal accountable for their actions. As well, I grew up watching American tv shows and set my goal on becoming a homicide detective with DRPS.  

What was one of your most memorable experiences on the job?

  • I have worked with so many amazing and inspiring individuals in my 25 year career. One of my most memorable moments was holding a press release to inform the public that we had arrested the person responsible for the attack on an innocent walker in Whitby in 2020.

How did your experience as a uniform officer prepare you for future assignments?

  • Nothing can replace the valuable experience you get from working in front line patrol. It makes you comfortable with speaking to members of the public in different situations. One minute you can be speaking with a complainant of a stolen bicycle and the next you are deescalating a person suffering from a mental health crisis.  It teaches you the value of an open mind and flexibility. Nothing is predictable in front line policing. This has assisted me in making me a competent interviewer in my roles in Sexual Assault/Child Abuse and the Homicide Unit.

How did it feel to become an investigator?

  • Homicide was my goal since becoming an officer. I worked hard to be promoted to Detective. I waited to apply to the unit until my son was old enough that I could be on call full time and not interfere with my role as a mom.

What drew you to this role?

  • Homicides are the most serious offence a person can commit. An investigation has to be flawless to obtain an conviction in court. I loved the challenge and critical thinking these files provided.

What are traits of a good Investigator?

  • Good people skills. Flexibility for scheduling. Thirst for learning. Ability to lead a team with a common goal. Persistence.

What advice do you have for officers starting their career with DRPS?

  • Take your time and learn as much as you can from every colleague and every situation you encounter. Do not be in a rush. It takes a minimum of 5 years to get comfortable with front line policing. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Ensure that you have activities outside of policing that allow you to decompress and enjoy all the things that makes life wonderful.


Why did you choose a career in policing?

  • I chose to pursue a career in policing because I wanted to be actively involved in keeping my community safe. I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of policing and interacting with members of the community. 

What was one of your most memorable experiences on the job?

  • One of the most memorable moments in my career so far, was receiving the phone call that I had been successful in the Canine Unit selection process. I was at the Grassroots K9 Farm when I received the phone call. Unbeknownst to me, my canine partner had already been selected and was also at Grassroots K9. When I hung up the phone Mike and Alison Nezbeth congratulated me and then asked if I would like to meet my dog. I am incredibly fortunate to have had Mike and Alison as mentors and being at the Grassroots Farm and meeting my dog the day I was accepted into the Canine Unit was a memorable moment. 

How did your experience as a uniform officer prepare you for future assignments?

  • When I was first hired as a police constable my coach officer told me to put in what he called "bread and butter time". He encouraged me to thoroughly learn my job as a patrol officer before applying to any specialty units. I spent the first 8 years of my career as a uniformed patrol officer and had the opportunity to be a SOCO, Breath Tech, PSU, Coach Officer, and Acting Sergeant before leaving patrol for K9. My time on patrol allowed me to build a strong base of foundational knowledge and lived experience, that I often draw from in my role now.  I would strongly encourage anyone who is new to, or pursuing a career in policing to do their "bread and butter time". Frontline patrol is one of the most important jobs in our police service. 

How did it feel to become part of the K9-Unit?

  • I knew very early on in my career that I wanted to specialize into the K9 Unit. After reaching out to members of the unit I realized that positions in the unit were highly competitive . Over the 8 years that I waited for a position to open, I trained with the unit, learned how to decoy, and took every course I could find on training and working with police canines. 

    After years of working toward my goal, getting the phone call that I had been successful in the selection process was a dream come true. I am incredibly proud to be a member of our K9 unit and am thankful to have the opportunity to go to work every day and do a job that I am passionate about. I know that the opportunities I have now won't last forever and so I do my best to make the most of this time while I have it. 

What drew you to this role?

  • Growing up in South Africa, my family owned dogs for security and protection. When we immigrated to Canada, we had them as household pets. I think early exposure to dogs definitely ignited my passion for training and working with police canines.  One of the aspects I love most about being a K-9 handler is the endless opportunity for growth, I love to learn and am fortunate to work in an area of policing I am passionate about. Knowing the work that I do assists uniformed patrol officers in safely resolving high risk incidents, finding missing and vulnerable people, or assists with criminal investigations is very motivating. 

What are traits of a good K9 handler?

  • Patience, grit, personal accountability, and humility. While being a canine officer on its face appears glamourous it requires a lot of unseen and tedious background work. Handlers are responsible for the care of their canine 24/7/365. Our work comes home with us on a daily basis, which includes cleaning kennels, feeding, bathing, transporting and ensuring the safety of a high drive working dog. Prospective handler need to understand the unseen responsibility and embrace the extra off duty hours that are committed to the role. 

    Canine handlers require a great deal of patience. Training and working with police canines, while rewarding, can at times be frustrating. Training requires time and quality repetitions for both the handler and dog, making patience an asset. 

    Canine handlers need to possess a great deal of grit to be successful. Canine teams are expected to operate in inclement weather and will spend extended amounts of time traversing technical and challenging terrain. Handlers need to be able to work through physical and mental discomfort to be successful in their role. 

    Failure is a constant and inevitable part of canine work. Canine handlers need to possess a high level of personal accountability and humility in the face of both success and failure. Personal accountability in the face of failure allows handlers to effectively identify training gaps in themselves and their canine and allows them to develop through failure. Humility in the face of success helps handlers remain grounded, knowing that their training is never complete and their knowledge infinitely lacking. 

What advice do you have for officers starting their career with DRPS?

  • For young officers staring their career I would encourage them to learn their job as a patrol officer inside and out. A commitment to being exceptional in that role will ultimately provide them with the skills they need to specialize in the future. I would further encourage them to develop a high level of personal accountability and responsibility. They should be challenged to set goals for themselves that exceed the required standards and are beyond their current level of functioning. While failures in pursuit of those goals is inevitable, it will provide them with valuable learning opportunities and development. 

Why did you choose a career within policing communications?

  • I chose a career in policing communications when my best friends daughter took her own life. It ignited a strong desire in me to REALLY want to help people and specifically people in crisis. 

What was one of your most memorable experiences on the job?

  • One of my most memorable experiences on the job was dispatching the Ajax triple homicide in 2018. An unimaginable tragedy. The incredible teamwork that came together that day from both the road officers and our communications room, reinforced my belief that I had the best job. 

How did your previous experience prepare you for becoming a 911 dispatcher?

  • My previous experience working in family law and child protection prepared me for this role by showing me that there were people in my own community that were really suffering and needed help. 

How did it feel to become a part of 911 communications?

  • Becoming a part of 911 Communications felt like I was finally where I belonged. Every day I get to work alongside actual heroes. 

What are traits of a good dispatcher?

  • Traits of a good dispatcher: being able to perform under extreme pressure and stay calm in stressful, dynamic, constantly changing situations, multi tasking, excellent communication skills, compassion, and confidence. 

What advice do you have for other civilians starting their career with DRPS?

  • Other civilians starting a career with DRPS should know that they are about to change lives. Even their own.

Upcoming Events

The duties of sworn and civilian positions are both challenging and rewarding. To assist females interested in a career in the policing industry, the Durham Regional Police Service is offering the following Women's Recruiting Symposium. 
We are inviting you to register for consideration to attend and gain further exposure into policing with Durham Regional Police Service. Come and meet female members including the recruiting unit to learn about the hiring process and what it takes to become an employee of the Durham Regional Police Service. 
Date: Saturday, June 8, 2024 
Time: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (registration at 8:30am) 
Location: DRPS Education and Training Centre located at 1400 Victoria St E, Unit #5, Whitby, ON. 

(Lunch and Refreshments will be provided) 
Agenda for the day: 
  • Panel discussion with female members on their career within policing
  • Information on the current hiring process and how to make yourself a competitive applicant
  • Exposure to a variety of units within the organization
  • Learn why Durham Regional Police Service is best for you!
To Register:
  • Click the button below to register for the DRPS Women's Recruiting Symposium 2023
  • Upload a letter of interest when resume is requested outlining:
    • Your expressed interest in Durham Regional Police Service's employment opportunities
    • Why you are passionate in participating in the Women's Symposium
    • Listing any areas of policing you would like discussed OR questions you have for the day of the symposium
Note: If you do not have a DRPS account, one will need to be created prior to completing the registration process.
Durham Regional Police Service has limited seats. Selected candidates will be notified of their acceptance by email, no later than May 24, 2024.

If you have any further questions on the symposium or registration process, please feel free to contact us at womenssymposium@drps.ca

A History of Canadian Women in Policing 


Please feel free to contact Human Resources Recruiting with any questions or concerns you might have at 905-579-1520 ext. 4341 or email recruiting@drps.ca

Note: if an accommodation is required at any time during the recruitment process, please advise Human Resources Recruiting. Appropriate assistance will be provided pursuant to the Service's Accessibility directive.

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