Thunder Bay Police Insp. Lorne Clifford has a greater appreciation for being a Canadian after spending a year in Palestine.
Through the European Union Coordination Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS), Clifford spent September 2011 to September 2012 helping set up a police training facility.
He outlined his time overseas in a presentation to the Thunder Bay Police Services Board Tuesday morning.
Clifford had a personal interest in learning about the Middle East and the conflict in Israel. He saw this trip as a way to learn some background and gain experience.
“I had an opportunity to provide some of the knowledge, skills, abilities and experience I had required here in Thunder Bay,” he said, adding he also saw a chance to work with people from around the world to deliver a high level of training.
After a year of having guns pointed at him daily as he crossed checkpoints from Jerusalem to Palestine, Clifford says he has a higher tolerance for difficult and dangerous situations.
He also now appreciates his home in Canada much more.
“As Canadians, we don’t know how good we have it,” he said.
And while the experience was personally valuable for Clifford, he said he couldn’t express the level of thanks his team received from the Palestinian authority and the Palestinian civil police.
“These are people that don’t have an awful lot of material tings but I now have friends that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” he said.
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