What started as an idea shared between three Ottawa Police Service (OPS) members has now become a longstanding tradition of giving back to the city they serve.
"The real gist behind all of it is to provide an opportunity for the OPS to laud the work of its members and elevate the role of police in the community," said OPS Gala organizer Inspector Mike Laviolette. "We wanted to show police in a different light and make a meaningful contribution to our community partners."
The event is more than just an excuse to get dressed up; it helps to send a positive message to the community about the men and women who protect and serve the city.
"Prior to the gala, the only time we'd put on our dress uniforms was for attending funerals and memorials," said Supt. (Ret.) Delaney. "We wanted to give our members a venue where they could put on their number one uniforms and celebrate."
"Every year we celebrate not only our police service, but also those who work tirelessly to make this city one of the best places to live," said Chief Charles Bordeleau. "The gala has a lasting impact beyond the event itself through the funds we raise for local charities that deliver much needed services and programs to the most vulnerable in our community."
This year's beneficiaries are Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa and Ottawa Victim Services.