Former Toronto Blue Jay Dalton Pompey’s new uniform comes with a bulletproof vest.
The 30-year-old retired baseball player from Mississauga Ont., has joined the Hamilton Police Service (HPS).
Pompey was once considered one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects and was on the team as a pinch-runner during its 2015 playoff run.
He left the Jays organization in 2019, and spent time with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels before returning to Ontario in 2022 to play with the Guelph Royals of the Intercounty Baseball League.
Pompey announced his retirement from baseball after the 2022 season.
While he may be trading in a baseball bat for a police badge, Pompey said he sees similarities between his time as a pro athlete and his new role as a general patrol officer.
“The one thing is being patient … in baseball, it can be frustrating at times. It’s a game of failure. It teaches you patience, remaining calm and keeping your emotions in check,” he said.
“You’re going to calls on people’s worst days and you have to try and make a difference the best way you can.”
Pompey landed in Hamilton after Deputy Chief Ryan Diodati heard he was interested in working in emergency services and reached out.
At the same time Pompey joined, the service also debuted baseball hats as a uniform option for police officers, but spokesperson Jackie Penman said that’s just a coincidence.
“While we’re thrilled to have Dalton as part of our HPS team, he had nothing to do with the move to the baseball caps,” she said in an e-mail.
As of Tuesday, he had four shifts on his own after doing dozens of training shifts.
He said he’s still learning Hamilton, but is enjoying the challenge.
Pompey also said he enjoys how every day is different.
He added that being a person of colour, he can relate to other people of colour in the community.
Recent data from HPS showed Black people were “grossly over-represented” in use of force data when compared to the size of the local Black population.
“Any way I can make a connection to somebody is important,” Pompey said.