Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Coolest Cop' Wants Everyday Positive Gestures by Police Recognized

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Coolest Cop' Wants Everyday Positive Gestures by Police Recognized

Article excerpt

'Coolest cop' hopes positive police work recognized


He's been called Canada's coolest cop and has become somewhat of a celebrity in his southern Alberta community, but Const. Doug Sokoloski insists his story is just one example of the many positive gestures made by Mounties on the job every day.

The 49-year-old RCMP officer who lives in Pincher Creek, Alta., shot into the national spotlight after an Internet video showed him rocking the drums during an impromptu jam session with a group of campers he came across on a patrol.

The entire episode -- which went viral after it was posted on YouTube this summer -- took just four minutes but generated a lasting sense of goodwill towards the force.

"It's a good news story," Sokoloski tells The Canadian Press. "I'm not going to end up in a big band or gain any popularity or riches out of it but if it enhances the image of policing and of the RCMP, and it makes our job easier to do, you know, then go with it."

Sokoloski, who primarily deals with traffic incidents and acts as a spokesman for the Mounties in Pincher Creek, believes the small positive acts carried out by officers on a daily basis go unnoticed far too often.

"We get chastised for the few bad things we do, but every day there's thousands of good things done by police officers in our communities," he says.

Indeed, the popular drumming video provided a welcome boost to the perception of the Mounties in a year when the RCMP's image has been battered by allegations of harassment and abusive behaviour within the force.

In his community, Sokoloski takes a hands-on approach to policing and focuses on building meaningful relationships with residents. Those bonds, he says, have undoubtedly been strengthened by all the buzz generated by the widely circulated video.

"From a work perspective it's made the job a lot easier and people want to approach you a lot more," he says with a chuckle. …

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