Former CFL player Palardy pursuing police career

An autographed football Justin Palardy donated can be seen as the former CFL player stands by the showcase at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

An autographed football Justin Palardy donated can be seen as the former CFL player stands by the showcase at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

Published on July 11, 2016
By Lyle Carter

Principles of teamwork can be applied to both football and police duties

Football provided Justin Palardy with some incredible experiences.

Playing for CEC Cougars, he was named all-star of the year, three straight seasons, 2003 through 2005. Joining Saint Mary’s Huskies in 2006, he was AUS (Atlantic University Sport) rookie of the year and an AUS all-star, three consecutive seasons. Palardy also broke a ton of records while kicking for the Huskies.

Six seasons followed in the Canadian Football League with Hamilton Tiger Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Ottawa Redblacks, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Argonauts. He scored his first CFL points on a 79-yard punt while playing for Hamilton against Winnipeg in 2010.

Before 63,000 fans, Palardy played in the 2011 Grey Cup for Winnipeg against B.C. Lions at BC Place. Palardy was named Winnipeg Blue Bombers outstanding special teams player in 2012. In his final CFL season with Toronto Argonauts, he reached 500 career points.

Palardy has studied the possibility of a police career for some time.

“It got to the point I was bouncing around in football. I possibly could have grinded it out another couple of years but I had other goals on my mind, like a policing career which I wanted to achieve.”

At Atlantic Police Academy, part of Holland College in Summerside, P.E.I., Palardy began classes this past January.

“I was really excited to know I was starting the policing process which will be the next 30 years of my life. The first day I reported there were two police sergeants there. I sat down in the classroom and they just stared at me. It was like “you are here now and you’re going to abide by our rules.” I was handed my room keys and told to report back at 1800 hours.”

For the next six months, law classes, site training, physical education training and training on the gun range, became a familiar routine.

“The amount of training you receive is quite vast and it prepares you for your 10-week on-the-job training. I’m now a sworn in police officer with Halifax Regional Police Service, it’s like a training camp, I’m a patrol officer. My life was football, now I’m taking everything I learned at the academy and I’m applying it to my on-the-job training.”

While attending Atlantic Police Academy, Palardy set a PARE (physical abilities requirement evaluation) record. With the pass mark being four minutes, 45 seconds his mark was 2:17.

Standing 5-ft. 11-in. and weighing 190 lbs., Palardy is dedicated to physical fitness.

“There are similarities between football and policing,” Palardy told me, “I’ve always been comfortable in a team atmosphere, football has helped me in that respect. Teamwork applies to both playing sports and police work.”

Palardy shared that he was brought up by his mother Vicki and his grandmother Flo Morrison.

“I was aware that my grandfather (Ned Morrison) was a Truro Police Officer. He was a hard but fair man from what I’ve been told. For me to see his badges and to know I’ll have one of my own around the corner, it’s a really proud feeling both for me and my family.”

Approximately 15 years ago, in mid-July, 2001, I met Palardy for the first time. Born in Halifax he lived in Victoria, B.C. as an infant, moving to Salmon River in November 2000. Taking in a peewee baseball league game at Stanfield’s Ball Park the following summer, the 13-year-old grabbed my attention as he caught five innings, pitched two innings and pounded out three base hits for Fowlers Construction in a 9-7 win against Kinsmen.

Following the game I took photos and interviewed Palardy and teammates Jason Smith, Brandon Faubert and Keegan MacKinnon for this paper.

A lot of exciting things have happened with Palardy since that night at Stanfield’s Ball Park.

“At the end of the summer (2001) my best friend Jason Smith and I went out for football with Truro Blue Bombers,” Palardy said recently. “At first I thought the sport wasn’t for me but Jason convinced me to give it a try. I fell in love with football and I found guidance through the coaches, Anthony Purdy and Steve Fulton. They taught us the value of teamwork and determination. I grabbed onto this at a young age and as I went along.”

Palardy, the former professional football player and future police officer, is determined to give back to Truro and Nova Scotia football.

 Justin Palardy was a member of Winnipeg Blue Bombers and several other CFL teams

Justin Palardy was a member of Winnipeg Blue Bombers and several other CFL teams


Lyle Carter’s column appears every second Tuesday in the Truro Daily News.

If you have a column idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.


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