Missing Children Society of Canada Missing Children Society of Canada

A Conversation with MCSC board member and Gatineau Police Service Directeur, Mario Harel

“She was like a tornado.”

That’s how Gatineau Police Service Directeur Mario Harel describes the first time he met MCSC’s CEO, Amanda Pick. “She was speaking with such passion; it was motivating to be involved. I get that same feeling every time I speak with her.”  

That memorable event was in March 2014. Amanda had been invited to attend the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Board of Directors meeting to present MCSC’s Search program and Most Valuable Network platform.

“Without hesitating, CACP officially endorsed the program,” recalled Directeur Harel.

As a result of the unprecedented endorsement, the CACP now encourages policing leadership across Canada to evaluate and consider MCSC’s Search program within their respective jurisdictions. The CACP was established in 1905 and represents approximately 1,000 police leaders from across Canada. The Association is dedicated to the support and promotion of efficient law enforcement and to the protection and security of the people of Canada. Through its member police chiefs and other senior police executives, the CACP represents over 90% of the police community in Canada which include federal, First Nations, provincial, regional and municipal, transportation and military police leaders.

Since their first meeting in March 2014, Directeur Harel continued to keep in touch with MCSC and welcomed opportunities to further support the organization. In 2016, Directeur Harel joined MCSC’s board of directors and soon after was elected President of the CACP.

“It was important to MCSC to have police perspective on their board,” explained Directeur Harel, a highly-decorated officer with 34 years of policing experience.

“I, and other officers on the board, understand the value of the tools that we have access to with MCSC.”

“With my network at the CACP, I ensure that all the Chiefs understand that MCSC’s tools are not just another app. These are important tools to help find children. They are very exciting means for mobilization.”

“Innovation is a word that could characterize MCSC. There is enormous potential for this organization to change the game across Canada. I’m sure that this organization, with all the tools they have, they are able to have an impact across the country that police organizations simply can’t. By working with this one organization, we can prevent so much duplication. MCSC can support families and police across Canada in a way that no police organization can achieve on its own.”

In addition to advocating on behalf of MCSC’s work among Police Chiefs across Canada, Directeur Harel also aims to strengthen our connections in Quebec. “I hope to enhance MCSC’s potential across all of Canada, including Quebec.”

“While my involvement with MCSC has been at a strategic level, I have witnessed the effort and initiative of the team at MCSC,” Directeur Harel continued.

“It is a small team that works with the challenges of low resources. Their energy and outreach to support the community, police and families is amazing. It is motivation for me to keep finding ways to support them and help them grow.”

On behalf of all of us at MCSC and the searching families that we serve, we would like to thank Directeur Harel for his tremendous support and invaluable guidance.

photo credit: Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, www.cacp.ca