He might not have known it when he was 19-years-old and applied to the Hamilton Police Service that he would be in it for the long haul, but OPP Constable Michael Brady closed the books this week on a policing career that lasted 50 years.
Brady wrote the exam provided by Hamilton Police at the time and was hired as a cadet for just over a year.
“Then I worked as a constable there for a couple of years and then I came back up north to the Penetang Police Service,” said Brady. “They still had their own service at the time in 1976 and I worked there for four years.”
Then it was a hop, skip and a jump to the neighbouring Midland Police Service (MPS) where he remained until 2001, retired from the MPS and then immediately started with the OPP at the Southern Georgian Bay detachment when Midland replaced its local service for the provincial force.
Since 2018 he has served with the OPP on a part-time basis.
Brady admits it wasn’t like he had a calling to be a police officer. He says he signed up because he thought the career “looked interesting.”
“I was looking for something to do at the time and I thought I would give it a try, never thinking I would stay as long as I did.”
He says while policing is not the easiest job in the world, it sure isn’t boring.
On the frontline for 50 years, Brady says he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“That’s right. I was always on the frontlines, not in the office work or anything. I was always with the people and enjoyed that.”
At the time of his interview with Barrie 360, Brady was three hours from his official retirement.
“I am unemployed!” he laughed. “That’s the kind of word I’ve never used, but I am.”
When the 70-year-old was asked to look back at any career highlights, the soft-spoken Brady said he just enjoyed helping people.