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Policing Duties

Heroes Remember

In Kosovo, there was a few shootings and things like that. There was people being killed by landmines or unexploded ordinances that were off into the fields. A lot of unexploded ordinance left around over there and you can’t walk there but sometimes children don’t understand that and in they go. It was a hard way to live but it was, I guess, it was worthwhile in the end when you left there and like I said before as long as you can, you know, think in your own mind that yeah it will be good here. As a police officer we went there in December of ’99 just after the bombing, a couple months after the bombing and we stayed there for nine months and again that place was…when I came back I had to wear reading glasses because I was used to reading under candlelight. We lived off the economy, in other words, you went out and rented a house somewhere. I lived with two Americans that were over there and my job there, I ran a police station in a place called Melacheval, it was a rebel stronghold during the war or an Albanian stronghold during the war and I had 39 police officers from 13 different countries and I think it was 13 or 14 police cadets and a bunch of civilian staff. And the Russian Army, we were in the Russian Army sector that provided security for us. So when you have that (oh, there’s a word for it) that many people from that many different countries and you've got totally different values, I had police officers from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Germany, US, a couple of African countries, and so forth and so on, so anyway we were there to take, our main job was obvious because there was no police force there so we had to do policing work and we also had to take a lot of statements from people concerning war crimes. And when you have a person from a different country whose mother tongue is Arabic, they can’t speak English that well, they’re taking a statement from an Albanian or Serb who can’t speak English and they’re taking a statement through an interpreter and now you’re trying to get that down and the Arabic writes right to left and when I got some of the statements I looked at the guys and said listen we got to stop this. This is, I said, what you got here I mean a two year old wouldn’t be able to read it. This thing got to go higher up through the UN chain and maybe ten years from now it will be in front of a war crimes commission or whatever so what I did, I wasn’t well liked for it, I fired the whole lot of them. Get out! They couldn’t take a statement because policing in this country and that country is different than policing in Europe and North America. So I got into a little bit of trouble but that’s the way she goes. You have to look at the future, you have to look at why you’re there, some of these people were, like an elderly woman wanted to come in and say listen I have, my such and such and such were murdered six months ago, I want to tell you about it, and in their country, the police officers country, “We don’t talk to women, get out!”

Mr. Hickey explains some of the facets of his police work and the struggles that ensued.

Bill Hickey

Mr. Bill Hickey was born July 5, 1956 in a small town outside of St., John’s, Newfoundland. As a young boy, Mr. Hickey always has great involvement with sports and recreation. Realizing his desire for community work, Mr. Hickey held a career as a Police Officer and as well at a very young age joined the Reserves in role as chief warrant officer having opportunities to deploy to different areas of the world. Together with this Police and Reservist career, Mr. Hickey expresses his great sense of pride for his achievements and opportunities throughout his years in service. After 34.5 years of police service, Mr. Hickey has retired and now resides in St. John’s Newfoundland with his family. As part of the delegation of Newfoundland Veterans, Mr. Hickey accepted the opportunity as part of the 100th Anniversary of Battles of Somme and Beaumont-Hamel to travel overseas to commemorate this special event.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 2, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Bill Hickey
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Master Warrant Officer
Police Officer

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