Jash Manani was well-travelled long before he started patrolling the streets of Guelph.

Manani was born and raised in a small village in the Indian state of Gujarat. He later studied in Singapore for several months then moved to the UK where he lived for seven years and got an honours degree in business administration.

He married a Canadian woman in 2010 and the couple eventually agreed in 2012 to settle in Canada. “I had never been to Canada before,” Manani says with a laugh. “I trusted her and now I love this country.” The couple has a six-year-old son.

Manani’s background had been in the hospitality industry doing sales and marketing and risk management. He originally worked in this field after coming to Canada, and also completed a post-graduate degree in human resources in 2015.

But he wanted to better serve his new community, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and uncle who were all prominent in their faith communities in India.Photo of Constable Manani

“I was thinking about the best way to serve the community and I started to think about policing,” he explains. “But before I applied for policing I wanted to do some research and find out how policing works in Canada.” He became an auxiliary officer for another police service and enjoyed the experience. Manani joined the Guelph Police Service in late 2019.

He admits it could be seen as a strange career choice for someone who emigrated from India. “People who come from India, in their minds they maybe are not sure about the police. Policing in India is very different than Canada … but people when they come here they quickly realize they can trust the police and find them approachable.”

Manani said members of the Indian community -- both in Guelph and in Waterloo Region where he lives – frequently seek him out for advice and guidance.

“Wearing the uniform you’re putting yourself always in a position of scrutiny, but you are also in a position to have a positive impact on others in the community,” he said. “It’s a great responsibility.”

Manani speaks several languages including Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu and Marathi. He is a liaison officer representing those communities on the Service’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. “I thought with the skills I have and the life experiences I’ve had, I should bring that to Guelph Police through the committee.”

Earlier this year Manani was called upon when other patrol officers responded for a reported domestic dispute and encountered a female who had recently arrived in Guelph and spoke no English. Manani spent a couple of hours with the female and using his community connections was able to secure her a spot in a local shelter where staff were able to speak her language.

“She was so appreciative that we were able to offer her that service in her own language.”

Manani said it is still very rare for someone born in India to pursue a career in policing in Canada. But with the immigrant population in Canada always growing “that will change. Absolutely. When people see more people who look like them becoming involved in policing they will know they can do it, too.”


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