Rookie officer who grew up in social housing says 'the sky is the limit'

Posted On Tuesday October 22, 2019
Cst. Kevin Dorion at the Confederation Court Community Centre
Cst. Kevin Dorion at the Confederation Court Community Centre

Constable Kevin Dorion grew up in social housing in the South end.

“As a kid, I heard all the time I would grow up to be a criminal,” said Kevin, who graduated from the Ontario Police College in August of this year. “But thanks to some good influences in my life, I didn’t go down that path.”

His mother and step-father taught Kevin and his older brother that hard work leads to success. “They encouraged us to do well in school, take part in sports and make the most of every opportunity,” said Kevin.

That’s one of the reasons he joined Christie Lake Kids, who believes growing up in poverty should not define a person or limit their potential.

“I was a camper and part of the Skills Through Arts and Recreation (STAR) program,” he said.

It was through Christie Lake Kids and the Confederation Court Community Centre that Kevin met and found role models and inspiration.

“There were police officers who took the time to stop in and see how we were doing,” said Kevin. “When police are called, it’s not usually a good thing, but if they come by just to say ‘hi’, that’s a powerful way to make connections.”

Kevin made the most of what was offered. He learned Karate through Christie Lake Camp, he ran Track and Field and he played both touch and tackle football at St. Patrick High School.

“It wasn’t always easy,” said Kevin, “but the programs and sports gave me something to do to keep me out of trouble.”

As a new police officer, Kevin got to choose where to patrol in Ottawa. “I picked the area where I grew up, so I could give back to my community.”

To his pleasure, he was assigned ‘33’ sector, his old stomping grounds in the Walkley and Russell Roads area.  

“Knowing the area and the people helps me do my job. I can say, ‘I’m from here’ and there’s an instant connection.”

Kevin recently stopped in at the After School Program at the Confederation Court Community Centre. “I remember what it meant to me to see police in positive situations,” he said. “I want the kids to know I’m approachable and I care.”

Kevin has a message to other kids growing up in community housing. “The sky is the limit. Get involved in activities, join sports, and go to Christie Lake Kids. Look for ways to make your community better. If you want to be a police officer, don’t be afraid to talk to them.”

This new officer still wants to make connections and pay it forward. He plans to take over one of the organizing positions at Christie Lake Kids.