Manitoba

Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis gets rock-star greeting at Isaac Newton

Police Chief Devon Clunis was greeted Tuesday with smiles and high fives at his alma mater, Isaac Newton School in Winnipeg's North End.

Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis gets rock-star greeting at Isaac Newton

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

6 years ago
2:00
Isaac Newton School students treated Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis like a celebrity, eager to meet and high five a graduate of their North End school 2:00

Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis speaks with students at Isaac Newton School on Tuesday morning. (CBC)
Isaac Newton School students treated Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis like a celebrity Tuesday morning, eager to meet and high five a graduate of their North End school.

"Growing up in the North End, we weren't rich or poor. We had everything we needed," Clunis told the students. "It feels so good to be back at this school, telling you if you have a dream, a desire and the right people around you, you can achieve that dream."

When Clunis and his parents immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in the 1970s, they settled on Selkirk Avenue in the North End, a low-income neighbourhood with a reputation for poverty and crime.

His talk with the students on Tuesday touched on the powerful influence teachers and education had on his upbringing and his path to becoming the head of Winnipeg's police force. 

"With the right support, you can do anything you desire," he said. "I want young people to know this: It doesn't matter the colour of your skin, where you live, or where you're born — if you're fortunate to have supportive people around you, there is nothing you can't achieve."

He decided to pursue a career in law enforcement out of a desire to help others, he told the young crowd.

"I decided one day I wanted to be a police officer because I could set an example for other kids like me," he said. "I said I would use this job to really help young people."

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