August 9, 2014 5:59 pm

Halifax police swap traditional hats for blue berets

Halifax police officers who served on peacekeeping missions wore their blue UN berets on Saturday.

Julia Wong/Global News

HALIFAX – Your eyes were not deceiving you: some Halifax police officers wore different blue hats Saturday to mark a special occasion.

August 9 is National Peacekeepers’ Day, and it marks the 25th anniversary of Canadian police contributions to international peacekeeping missions.

Halifax Regional Police, HRP, allowed its member who have served on peace operations to wear their blue UN beret during regular duties to mark the date, which is exactly what Sgt. Nancy Rudback did.

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Rudback, who has served with HRP for about 30 years, spent nine months in Sierra Leone in 2004.

“This was an opportunity to police, monitor a policing situation somewhere else in the world and to be exposed to another system and another culture,” she said.

Rudback said she was in the Western African country after its civil war.

“Their police service was up and running again but they had other police officers from around the world come in and monitor their processes and mentor their police as they got back on their feet.”

The police officer said it is important to have a day set aside to mark peacekeeping missions.

“[It] reminds everybody there are crises in other places in the world and Canadians are a big part of going into other countries and helping out with the development of new agencies and processes,” she said.

So far, 42 HRP officers have served overseas in eight different missions.

The United Nations flag will fly outside the police headquarters this weekend.

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