When you first meet Myles Hayden, there is a hint of the unmistakable Newfoundlander lilt. His laughter is boisterous and bubbles up from deep inside. He has a fatherly air about him, save for the Kevlar vest and the Smith and Wesson pistol holstered on his hip, along with all the other accoutrements of the RCMP.   

The 62-year-old Constable of Airdrie’s RCMP has a surprising story about how he ended up on this career path, considering his son was the one with ambitions to join the force. In jest, he decided to sign his father up along the way.   

“Guess who got in first?” Constable Hayden asks with a grin as he cruises down Veterans Boulevard on a rainy Saturday evening.   

While the switch from being a Program Officer with corrections in Newfoundland to policing the streets may not seem particularly drastic, Hayden said he believes what he does now, has an immediate impact on the community he serves, whereas, within the walls of a prison, positive or negative impacts may never be known.   

Before RCMP officers start their evening rounds, there is a debrief headed by Sergeant Mike Zinck. The members update the others on what they’re working on and what files they may be pursuing before heading off on patrols. Paperwork, it turns out, is one of the many, though perhaps less glamorous responsibilities the officers are tasked with, and a responsibility that is time-consuming for good reason. Constable Hayden explained that in the case of domestic dispute calls, the file must be completed the same night the call comes in.   

The first call of the night comes just as he is meant to drop off court documents with regard to a domestic dispute. Domestic disputes are sadly all too common. A mental health call disrupts his plans.   

The original dispatch description detailed a dire situation where an individual claimed to want to hurt themselves and was fraught and angry. When the police arrived, the individual was cooperative and already inside an ambulance. 

However, there are times when calls do the opposite and turn into a life-or-death situation; hence the role of the police. Hayden agreed that putting more effort and funding into mental health is a good idea, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the danger will be taken out of the equation.   

When Constable Hayden does manage to deliver the documents to the individual regarding the domestic dispute, he checks in 

“You seem more smiley since the last time I saw you, how is everyone doing?”    

A call comes in to respond to the Bayside Shopping Plaza with reports of a group of teenagers threatening to start a fight. When the police arrive, a man walks up to Constable Hayden’s car. He is suspected of being intoxicated, claiming someone was threatening his son on social media and he came down to handle the situation on his own.   

Constable Hayden repeatedly asks the man to calm down and explains to him that he can’t arrest someone for a social media post, especially if that individual isn’t even present. Another police cruiser shows up. The man starts hurling more infectives at police officers and is subsequently arrested. 

As the constable prepares to drive away, another car pulls up and blares the now-famous Bad Boys theme from the reality show Cops. He bobs his head along with the beat and continues onwards.  

The rest of the evening is relatively quiet, with only two traffic stops, one of which happened to be an illegal U-turn at an intersection right in front of the constable’s car. The driver was issued a ticket promptly. Though the constable said traffic stops can be the most dangerous for police, he also said that Airdrie has some of the best traffic enforcement, which in turn deters criminal elements from venturing into the city.  

Though Saturday night was an easy shift, not all shifts are like this. Constable Hayden remembers a call in which a young girl had been in a quad accident and died as paramedics tried to save her life. Three weeks ago, the constable went to her grave to pay his respects, leaving a blue RCMP ribbon. But it was the tragic death of a young member of the RCMP that he remembers most. 

The young man called Constable Hayden ‘Dad’. The constable still has the very last text messages from his colleague.  

As the evening hours turn into Sunday morning, Constable Hayden, standing in the armoury of the detachment, discusses training, including the Immediate Action Rapid Deployment, known as “IARD”. All officers go through this training in how to deal with an active threat. He is resolute on why he wears the uniform. 

“It’s my duty. I’m here to get between you and the bad guy and take your place,” he said. “It’s strange to say this but I would rather die with these boots on.”  


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