Mason Melitzer admits it wasn’t easy leaving a job he really enjoyed to pursue his long-time dream of becoming a police officer.

Before joining the Guelph Police Service two years ago, Melitzer worked for eight years for a company which installed high-tech devices in homes. “I really enjoyed it and it was a great place to work with a great bunch of guys,” he explains, “but knowing I always wanted to do this I would never be able to forgive myself if I didn’t try.”

The Fergus native has always felt called to public service. He graduated from Niagara College’s Community and Justice Services program, then signed up as an OPP auxiliary officer to get a feel for policing while volunteering at community events. “I really enjoyed that,” Melitzer says of his eight years as an auxiliary officer. “It was great being involved in the community and helping people have positive interactions with the police.”

After college Melitzer got the tech job “and policing kind of went on the back burner for a little while.” He also sustained an ear injury which left him tone deaf, and therefore unable to pass the required standardized testing during the constable application process. Two surgeries and more than two and a half years of rehabilitation finally corrected his hearing issue and opened the door to pursue his dream.

Melitzer was 32 when he got hired and acknowledged he was a bit older than many new officers. “I’m glad I waited and got a bit more life experience before applying,” he says. “I wouldn’t change anything because I learned so much from my volunteer positions and through my former career that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.”melitzer btb

Growing up, Melitzer had a relative who wrestled with addictions issues “and I really struggled with that because I really looked up to him … and I think that made me want to be able to help people when they need help.

The desire to give back to his community comes from growing up in a family with strong service roots. Two of Melitzer’s maternal uncles are volunteer firefighters, and as a child he recalls his parents were involved in a mentoring program through which they cared for special needs children to provide respite to their caregivers.

Today Melitzer is a mentor with Big Brothers, and previously spent approximately 10 years volunteering with Victim Services. “My mom and I signed up for Victim Services together,” he recalls. “You had to tell them your availability so we signed up for the same days so whenever we had calls it was me and my mom responding. It was a good bonding experience and a good chance for us to give back to the community together.”

Down the road, Melitzer would like to work as a high school resource officer.

“I enjoy working with youth and giving them positive interactions with police is so important in today’s climate because youth are so impressionable and they see and hear a lot of negative stuff in the media.”

He got married in March. His wife is a local high school teacher.

Melitzer admits it has been difficult dealing with some anti-police backlash, which has at times intensified since the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. “Sometimes you’re just driving down the street, and this has happened, and there are people standing on the street corner giving you the finger,” he says. While he understands some people have had negative interactions with police, Melitzer’s goal is to always conduct himself professionally.

“As a member of the public you remember every interaction you have with a police officer, so if I can hopefully make our interaction a positive one that’s what they’ll remember.”


Behind the Badge is a monthly series of profiles of Guelph Police Service members