He wouldn’t have chosen anywhere else
He said new RNC Chief Joe Boland has also been a huge advocate and has been pushing as well for the force to get where it is today.
Ennis had a long career with the RNC, working many cases the public would be familiar with. To him though, one that stands out the most is Mount Cashel.
“Early in my career I was one of the four officers who was assigned to Mount Cashel. I think that process, just being part of that investigation, gave you an insight into the community at the time,” he said.
Ennis said he knew it was going to be important when he worked it and was lucky to be involved in it. At the time, his parents, staunch Catholics both, were still alive and were among those who could barely believe it happened. Ennis himself was taught by Christian brothers in Grand Falls-Windsor.
“It had huge implications into how we as a community, as a Canadian society, deal with child abuse and deal with the laws to protect kids now. That whole investigation has implications into how we protect each other. It may seem like an exaggeration, but what we learned as a community and as a province from that investigation, it impacted Child Youth and Family Services, it impacted criminal law, it changed things as a result of what happened,” Ennis said.
He said it forced Newfoundland and Labrador to look inward, to look at ourselves and really see who we were.
“Christian brothers were held in such high esteem at that point and people realized at that point that it could happen there. It made us all realize that it could happen everywhere,” he said.
Ennis said the biggest thing that came out of it was we all learned how to teach your kids how to protect themselves and allowed us to build safety mechanisms.
“I think we’re a better community now. I think were better at protecting kids right now than we were,” he said.
Another part of his career that stands out for him was his role in the creation of the Amber Alert system in Canada.
He said he happened to be at the right place the right time when the inspector was going down the hallway looking for someone to volunteer on a committee and he stuck up his hand.
“Getting that where it is now, with a fair bit of work, but it is something that I can look back on in my life and see that it made a difference. Everyone in Canada now knows what an Amber Alert is. When you hear Amber Alert you know what that means. To take that program from its infancy and take it to where it is right now, I was glad and lucky enough to be a participant in the process.”
Looking back on his 35 years, more than any one case Ennis said he’s proud of how far the RNC has come as a force. When he joined, it was still a young force and the expectations were much simpler. Now people expect a lot more of their police force, and he feels they have gone a long way towards meeting that.
“Looking over the last 35 years we were forced to change significantly, and so has the community,” He said.
“The demands of policing have become far more complex and I think the RNC, even though we may of had a sidestep from time to time, I think if you’re looking at it from a critical point of view, it would be fair to say the RNC has grown significantly and advanced significantly in the last three decades.”