Like many Grade 10 students, Brooke Drake wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life.

But then an aptitude test suggested she would be a good candidate for a career in emergency services. “I knew I couldn’t be a paramedic because back then I was terrified of needles,” Drake remembers with a laugh. “But I thought policing sounded really interesting and challenging so I went in that direction. I liked the variety that it offered and I wasn’t really interested in being behind a desk all day.”

Drake, who grew up in the northern part of Wellington County, took some law courses in Grades 11 and 12 and regularly spoke to her high school’s resource officer, who was able to arrange a couple of ride-alongs with police officers. She also joined a community-based policing committee, which allowed her to serve alongside the mayor and other community leaders to learn about and offer input into local policing.

Before that aptitude test, Drake admits policing was not on her radar. “My mom is a secretary, my dad’s a welder-fabricator, my brother is an architect and the rest of the family are nurses.”Behind the Badge Brooke Drake

She says some relatives tried to convince her not to go into policing. “Growing up in a rural community we didn’t really have much interaction with police, so I think they were worried because they didn’t understand the job and assumed the worst. They’re happy with my decision now.”

Drake just celebrated her 10-year anniversary with the Guelph Police Service, and since late 2020 has been a detective-constable in the Fraud Unit. “I wanted to move into a detective role to gain that experience and obtain knowledge of different investigative techniques.”

She applied to a number of services before focusing on the Guelph Police Service. “I liked the idea of staying close to home, and growing up in the country the idea of being in a big city didn’t appeal to me at all. I also have family in Guelph and my mom worked at the U of G.”

Drake is still a country girl. She and her husband own a hobby farm where they are raising their sons, aged three and five.

“They definitely keep me busy,” she laughs. “I’m a lacrosse mom and we have horses and enjoy riding ATVs as a family and just spending a lot of time outside. It’s a nice way to be able to decompress.”

Drake is now a believer in aptitude tests.

“I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t doing this,” she says of policing. “I really can’t see myself doing anything else.”


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