Shane DeHartog
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Shane DeHartog

Drug Busts and Baby Bottles

Whether the call is for loaded diapers or loaded guns, Shane Dehartog always answers with a sense of pride and duty. A Constable of his Canadian tactical unit, Dehartog has one of the most reputable and demanding jobs in law enforcement. However, the stress of 20 hour day/night shifts and being the father of 3 does not seem to phase him.

“Vanilla ice, ice baby.” Dehartog mumbles the lyrics to the 90’s hit while bouncing lightly in his chair, encouraging others at the interview table to join him in enjoying the playlist in the gymnasium (which they eventually did after getting control of their laughter).

This ability to relate to others and make people participate simply seems like good social skills, in actuality they make good tactical skills as well.  A tactical team consists of 30 members and  must function on similar grounds in regards to following orders and supporting others.

As a rappel master Dehartog is trained to ensure the team’s safety in regards to equipment operation and regulation procedures when dealing with situations at heights (on top of buildings, bridges etc.). Fundamentally his duty is to keep his team safe. One could say he is a father figure both on and off duty.

“I go through adrenaline highs and lows with my team regularly, you become very close to each other even after work,like a family. We go for beer and they even babysit my kids.” Dehartog smiles staring into his memories.

He has the utmost respect for his unit. Even before making it onto a tactical unit these men and women build bonds through the emotional roller coaster that is training. Two official rigorous fitness tests, one official psychological test and the infamous “hell week” in which the remaining applicants are put through near-impossible situations that test the limits of one’s body and mind make up the training schedule. One has to be willing to put their life at risk for their unit and complete strangers.

Despite all of his developed physical and mental strength, there was no training to prepare him for a family. He fiddled with his wedding ring as if he’d just proposed.

“I go out for picnics with them and plan days of fun when I can. The little one is great, woke me up crying at seven this morning before my drive in.” He chuckles and nodds to himself while caressing his shaven head.

The life of a tactical unit specialist is constantly busy. Even on Dehartog’s days off he is on call, half of his time off is spent working. His wife is understanding and knows how important he and his work is, but that doesn’t make the living situations any easier on the family. Time is constantly against them.

“Whenever the bad guys come out, any and all times of the day or night, I have to go. That’s just my job.”

When the music begins to play signalling the end of the meeting Dehartog continues to speak with no objection from the others at the table. He answers every question they ask engagingly with many hand gestures. He explains that his unit does roughly 700 drug raids a year, he explains that he’s been in law enforcement for 20 years and lastly that he is starving and cannot wait for lunch.

When the people around the table finally stand to leave, he shakes every one of their hands and thanks them for their time.

A family man, powerful law enforcement official and an entertaining conversationalist, Shane Dehartog is a determined Constable who finds the best outcome in all situations whether he’s geared up with his unit or kicking a ball around with his children.

“I love my family and my job, there’s nothing I would rather do.”


Written by: Talisa Soto