TRURO - When it comes to changes to policing today compared to when he first started in 1972, Loran Morrison said violence has grown.
"There's more violence now and there are more weapons available," said Morrison, a retired corporal from the Truro Police Service being honoured tonight at a reception at the Best Western Plus Glengarry.
"Substantially, the arguments are the same - over alcohol or drugs - but the weapons of choice today are more vicious."
At the age of 21, Morrison started his policing career in Toronto, following after his father.
"I had a great deal of respect for him and everything he has done," said Morrison about his father, whose name was also Loran.
Brought up in a mom and pop store in Economy, Morrison said customers always wanted to know if he remembered their name, which is quite often how it is with policing.
"People are more likely to confide in you if you're face-to-face as opposed to a faceless voice over the phone," said the 60-year-old, who began with the Truro Police Service in 1988 after an 18-month stint in Amherst.
"Police officers need to maintain that dialogue with people and people have to have confidence in what you're going to do."
He said respect toward police nowadays would really depend on the individual officers.
"I find people will pick their favourite officers. They'll say, ‘I know you, so I'm coming to you, I don't want anyone else.'"
An officer's personality and how they deal with a case, said Morrison, speaks volumes.
"If they know you from a friend, they feel you're trustworthy and know you can be approached."
While not always dealing with crime, Morrison will always take with him the times when people's lives were saved.
He saved a man from jumping off a bridge after a break-up with a girlfriend, ripping the man's jacket in the process.
"Afterward, the girlfriend came up to me, gave me a hug and said, ‘thanks for ripping his coat.' I never saw them again."
Morrison said police officers have to maintain a professional face at times, especially when it comes to someone passing away.
"We have to provide a professional manner to people and tell them we are someone that's going to help them. We have to be strong enough to put aside those feelings. We have to take away what those feelings would be and deal with things in a professional manner.
"We don't feel until we walk away," he said.
Coming to Truro from a larger city such as Toronto, Morrison said the department has its benefits.
"I found Truro was a much smaller department but the camaraderie was much stronger."
Morrison has nine children and two grandchildren - one of which lives in Germany, the other in Alaska.