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August '09

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Waterloo Regional Police


Matt Torigian



Matt Torigian is the Polce Chief for Waterloo Region.  He began his career in 1985.  He has wide experience and has been involved with many police organizations.  He leads the 7th largest police force in Ontario.

 Matt talked about how important it is for police forces to be connected with the community. He then went on to adddress three issues – trends, managing the trends and advocacy.

 There are two main trends – drugs and identity theft.  The police have created a separate section to deal with the drug trend.  He described drugs as a crime of economics.  Property crimes (eg. minor theft) feed the habits that lead to a more sophisticated criminal life style.  If  minor crimes can be reduced, it helps put a stop to larger crimes.  Drugs are at the root of gangs.  Recent shootings, in Waterloo Region, relate to activity between gangs.

 Identity theft is a big issue and the police force is keeping a close eye on it.  Identity theft can occur through internet scams and breaches of credit card security.  It is important for us each to check statements regularly and be aware of any signs of identity theft.  Banks are also being more proactive in watching for unusual activity in credit cards usage.

 To deal with the trends the Waterloo Region Police have restructured to ensure the senior management is discussing and managing them.  They need the right data so they can be proactive when dealing with crime.  Technology has been improved and a business plan, with measures, developed so they know how they are doing.

 Advocacy is an important function of police forces.  Ontario has a strong organization of police chiefs, who have the ear of government and other policy makers.  As an example the Pawn Broker’s is 100 years old and it is not easy to trace pawned items.  It needs to be updated so appropriate  information is obtained when an item is pawned.  This allows for easier tracing of stolen items. 

There was a lot of interest in Matt’s presentation as was evident by the number of questions.  Matt’s presentation was very articulate and I think left us feeling our police force is in good hands.


Club News

50/50 Draw

First prize winner was Gino Campagnolla, second prize went to Norm Heywood.


Attendance & Membership

There were 77 members and 3 guests at the June meeting.

Book Club

The Book Club will not be meeting in August. The next meeting will be Sept. 23 at Bill Trotter's. New members are welcome.

Duty Roster, August Meeting

Introduction: Gord Ferguson                       Thanker: Paul Van de Kamer

Editors' Notes

Ken MacPherson provided the excellent pictures in this issue. This issue is being produced earlier than usual. There may be an update following the August management meeting.

Seen at the Scene


















Go to print edition



Wh
o Am I?

Roger Green

I was born in Blackburn, Lancashire in June 1934. A son for Edith and Leonard Green. My father had two careers – as a poultry businessman and as a Mechanical Engineer. He was a bright lad and had a keen ability to recognize problems and develop solutions. My mother was a family person and excellent seamstress. Both gave me a sense of values that I have attempted to maintain in my life.

Blackburn, a Lancashire mill town, was home until I reached 7. We then moved to Southport where Len was a manager in an armaments factory. Our home had a direct view of the Blackpool Tower on a clear day.

From Southport we moved to Alston in Cumberland, now Cumbria, where Len was involved with wartime manufacturing – rear gunner turrets. This part of Cumbria is fell country with lots of sheep, straight stone walls and not many people. The populations was about 3,000 The schools were fine, and I walked up the hill to attend. When I was 11, I passed the 11 plus examination so that i might attend Samuel Kings School. The folk law at the lower grade school was the need to have the stick each and every day. Samuel Kings had class sizes of 20 to 25 from the first form to 5th form, and then two sixth forms had about five students. My buddy and I used to jockey for the top position in class.

I recall in the summer of 1958 having chicken pox and of course was off limits watching a girls hockey game, and still feeling poorly. This was the beginning of polio, and was to have a significant impact on my life.

Time was spent in an isolation hospital where I discovered that I was able to walk three steps and then stalled. A children’s orthopaedic hospital was next where I was able to walk and run. There were no rehabilitation programmes at the hospital (a staff and money problem) just caring. I was given a year off school to rebuild, and was able to use a cycle to explore the lanes and byways of the Pennines. I believed that the effects of polio were behind me.

I left Samuel Kings School at the end of the first year of the sixth form and moved to Buckinghamshire, living in Wooburn Green. This village was in the valley of the Wye, and included two paper mills – one addressing blotting paper and the second fine papers (Kodak). The colour of the Wye water was a function of the dominant mill on that day. There were two Grammar Schools within commuting distance and my parents chose the smaller – Sr. William Borlase in Marlow. This was a super and complementary experience to Samuel Kings School, with the Science stream Including languages, art, and English in their programme. I was introduced to rugby, and to rowing. The later was fun and rugby without glasses is less than fun.

The school year terminated with examination organised by the various English Universities, and I believe that about six three hour papers in maths, physics, and chemistry. One chemistry paper was at a Scholarship level. (The sort of paper that, if you can understand three or four questions out of nine or ten then, you have a chance of passing.) I struck gold – getting number 2372 State scholarship out of 2400 for the year 1952. Fees and expenses were paid (50 pounds a term). I discovered that coming first is fine but also finishing is also fine.

University was quite the experience – not only for the new friendships, but the classical music scene, theatre, galleries, 10,000 m running as an observer, soccer at Wembley and the Welsh Harp for dingy sailing. The smog of 1952 was also an experience leaving the tube station to walk home. I could not see my hands with my arms extended, but the combination of brain and feet acts as a sensor and transmitter to guide one over a familiar path. However, it was soon evident that my shirts during the fog made me look like a coal miner.

In July 1955 following the degree programme, I could be found working in the warehouse of a cosmetics manufacture – I discovered the healing properties of lanolin – The University of London awarded me with a first class honours degree– and I was accepted as a graduate student at Queen’s in Kingston beginning in September 1955.

In 1955, transatlantic travel was generally by boat. I was fortunate to get a place on a Greek Line ship/boat that listed across the Atlantic, had a crew that went on strike two days out of Quebec, but safely delivered all to Canada on August the 17th 1955 This was the day that I became a landed immigrant, and subsequently became a Canadian citizen six years later. I believe that many of you were born in Canada, well I am proud to announce that I am Canadian by Choice

Queen’s University was a super institution to be a graduate student. The atmosphere was relaxing, there was freedom, I missed the expatriate group in science, became a member of science 44 cooperative. A very special honour. The tasks as a graduate student were to take courses, assist undergraduates with the course material, and prepare some original research. The topic I landed was human susceptibility to bridge vibration – the little old lady who was traversing the bridge with her dog should not have to write to the Minister about unsafe bridges. This work lead to publications. and to design provisions in the OHBDC some 20 years later. The Millennium bridge in London would have been save if these code provisions had been used – Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. In 1958, I collected a second degree, and also joined a group of graduating engineers when they received their iron ring.

It was in June 1957 that I landed in Toronto to being work with Stone and Webster Canada Limited as a trainee engineer. The assignment was to be one year in Toronto, one year in the Boston office and experience on a site.

I moved to Waterloo and the University of Waterloo, being added to the payroll on December 1, 1960. The position was that of Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering. My travels to Waterloo include some unusual adventure. On New Years Eve 1958, I took the then CNR train from Waterloo to Toronto so as to be present at a party. The Train came off the lines jut before Guelph – the good news is that it did not roll down a 50 foot bank. The duties of a lecturer in the early days of Waterloo were to teach two courses per term, and these usually were taught for the very first time ever. The preparation of four courses and associate grading and planning certainly kept the children off the street at nights. I recall being reassured by my Dean at the end of the first year that the university had arranged for a further overdraft of 1.0 million - we would be paid during the second year.

The students of this era were ‘rejects” from other universities Rejects in the sense that they had good graduating thirteen marks and frequently positive work experience but the menu of courses was lacking. I was only as old as the average of the class, and while semi industrious, I did not always comprehend the items being presented, and soon understood that the youth of this country were really sharp and could easily fill in the gaps. During the third year as a lecturer I began to realize that a union card might have some merit. The card that I refer to is a Ph.D. By then I had grown very fond of a young lady from Port Dover who was an elementary school teacher in Kitchener. I had met her on a blind date but I submit I was not blind to the occasion.

I was luckly to land a ‘Ford Foundation Fellowship’ at the University of Texas at Austin (UTAustin), and began by degree work in September 1963. The courses were first rate, and the researched of good quality but with an orientation towards practical problems.

My arrival at UTAustin corresponded to the intial stages of building UT to become one of the premier universities in the US. They had a good football team in my era. I was housed in a temporary building from the war – the first world war – but the holes in the floors aided with the air conditioning..

I married my blind date Connie in December 1964. She was a great help as I completed by thesis. I think that she rewrote my Ph. D thesis more than a dozen times. (Married graduate student bonding.) Connie and I returned to UW in September 1965, and I began teaching structural design courses, and general design courses (suck ones own lemon). Interacting with undergraduate students was a joy.

I continue my research into reinforced concrete columns, but then added to this

Austin the lake, the inter mingling of three cultures – White, black and mextex – never experience such potential conflict and frustration.

I was awarded a C.D. Howe Fellowship in 1970 to study in the UK at the C and C A in Buckinghamshire. Connie and I had two daughters by then- there ages were 2 and 1. The experience was first rate and exposed me to many new ideas. In addition the family got to know my parents. Upon my return to Canada, I was fortunate to get contract work from the MTO relating to bridge overpasses, from CISC covering the instability of bridges during construction, and in the latter years was active in the development of the Ontario Highway Bridge Design Code (for over 20 years). This latter work gave me access to activities in Europe and the U.S, and revisions to the development of modern designs for bridge foundations. One consulting project involved Welland Canal where there was a massive failure on Thanksgiving Day. This was promptly repaired by the owner, but the question lingered as to the cause – a challenge that a colleague and I met.

During my time as an engineering professor and professional engineer, I met hundreds of good young people who were able to develop and continue to do so, sound professional careers. I had access to the best professional minds in civil engineering here in Canada, in the United States, England, and in Europe. I was able to contribute as an expert, and as an educator. Time was my enemy

In closing I have had a wonderful life and family – not done everything I had hoped but one must leave items for the next generation. Preparing this “Who am I’ was fun, the next version will have slides of the travel log. I hope you had some fun listening.





Subpages (1): Aug '09 Print Edition
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