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When he began his career with the Saskatoon Police in 1987, Ernie Louttit was only the city’s third indigenous police officer. Indian Ernie, as he came to be known on the streets, details an era of challenge, prejudice, and also tremendous change in urban policing. Drawing from his childhood, army career, and service as a veteran patrol officer, Louttit shares stories of criminals and victims, the night shift, avoiding politics, but most of all, the realities of the marginalized and disenfranchised.
Louttit spent his entire career (including as a Sergeant) patrolling the streets of Saskatoon’s west side, an area until recently beset by poverty, and terrible social conditions. Here, he struggled to bring justice to communities where the lines between criminal and victim often blurred. Though Louttit’s story is characterized by conflict, danger, and violence, he argues that empathy and love for the community you serve are the greatest tools in any officer’s hands, especially when policing society’s less fortunate.