POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 27 PANS in the community Honesty is Const. Tim Keizer’s best weapon when the police officer makes his rounds at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown. "If I say I am going to do something, I better do it," says Keizer, who became the first school resource officer in P.E.I. a few years ago. "Credibility is everything with these young people. They can spot you if you don’t have a vested interest in them very quickly." Keizer, 47, has for a long time had the well-being of students clearly in his sight. For more than 15 years, he facilitated the Drug Abuse Resistance and Education (D.A.R.E.) curriculum in Charlottetown schools. For more than 25 years, he has been coaching or assisting Island youth, helping them to reach their goals and potential. Keizer’s determined, caring efforts to help set young Islanders on a successful path was recognized Thursday. The Rotary Club of Hillsborough presented the Charlottetown Police Services constable with the prestigious Vocational Service Award for showing exemplary leadership. Tom Clark, chairman of Vocational Service Committee, says Keizer got the nod for “all the work he does, with passion and commitment, always going over and above the call of duty and looking for the next opportunity to help youth in our community through his roles with the Charlottetown Police Services." Keizer joined the city’s police force in 1996. His diverse policing career, to date, has included working street crime and serving as a general patrol officer. Most rewarding, though, is his current run as a school resource officer. "It was something that I wanted to do because I’ve always wanted to be in that role of working with youth, and to do it on a daily basis I absolutely jumped at the opportunity," he recalls. Keizer feels in a better position to steer people away from a life of crime working from within the school, than sitting in a police cruiser. "I’ve had students come to me and tell me that they are drug dealers and that they can’t do it anymore and they don’t want to do it anymore and (ask) ‘how do I get out of this?’ " Parents, too, turn to Keizer for help. He will get calls on his cell in the evening from a parent seeking assistance to deal with a child making poor choices, including criminal ones. "And a lot of times it comes to a good conclusion as opposed to that feeling of helplessness that the parent has," says Keizer. The police officer is quick to note he leans on a collaborative approach drawing on Colonel Gray’s student services team, including a youth worker. "They were my conduit to the students (when he started as the school’s resource officer) and they bought in right away," he says. "I work very closely with them every day." As originally published on February 9, 2017 by Jim Day, The Guardian Credibility is everything Charlottetown police officer recognized for exemplary service Const. Tim Keizer chats with Colonel Gray high school students Elijah Hood, left, and Jamie Crockett-Coffin. Keizer, who works as a school resource officer, is the 2017 recipient of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough's Vocational Service Award. Snapshot A quick look at Const. Tim Keizer of the Charlottetown Police Services, who is the recipient of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough’s 2017 Vocational Service Award: ■Born in Charlottetown, he graduated from Charlottetown Rural High School in 1988. ■Played basketball and volleyball at the high school, provincial and university level. ■Board member and two-time president of the P.E.I. Police Association for more than 15 years. ■Founding member of the Charlottetown Police Choir. ■Works with numerous charities, senior groups and community interest groups engaging the community in his role as a police officer. “It was something that I wanted to do because I’ve always wanted to be in that role of working with youth, and to do it on a daily basis I absolutely jumped at the opportunity,’’ Const. Tim Keizer recalls.