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Somerset Community Police Centre gets a new manager

Khoa Hoang wants to meet gay community leaders

Somerset Community Police Centre's new manager Const Khoa Hoang (left) shakes hands with his predecessor Const Nathan Hoedeman. Credit: Neil McKinnon photo

Const Nathan Hoedeman is stepping down after four years of spearheading the community police station located at 393 Somerset St West.

“I’m happy with my new direction and the legacy I left behind. I’m not second guessing. Sometimes you have to make choices,” Hoedeman said to a crowd of 50 people at his retirement party on Friday at CafĂ© Supreme.

Hoedeman, 42, leaves the Ottawa Police Service after 15 years. He accepted a position as community safety manager for Ottawa Community Housing. His successor, Const Khoa Hoang, starts Monday, May 17. In his speech, Hoang thanked Nathan for giving him “a foundation in community policing in Ottawa.”

“[Khoa] stands for change. He is not afraid to follow his moral compass. I certainly trust him,” says Hoedeman.

In an interview with Xtra, Hoang and Hoedeman shared their thoughts on managing Centretown’ community police centre.

Hoedeman spent four years as manager of the Somerset Community Police Centre (CPC). He provided education to the community on police matters, attended several community association meetings and spoke to children at schools. He also wrote Backyard Beat, a popular community newspaper column discussing urban policing matters.

“I listened to what the community was saying. And the community wanted the police to walk side-by-side with them. I let them know we’re in this together and we can make a difference. That’s where all my work started: to empower and educate people,” says Hoedeman, who handpicked Hoang to be his successor.

Hoang, who grew up in Centretown, says his appointment is Hoedeman’s way of giving the community back “one of its own.” The 30-year-old Vietnamese immigrant who grew up with his family in a small one-bedroom apartment at Bank and Nepean streets says he wants to reach out to leaders of Centretown’s cultural communities, including the gay community.

“Centretown is the most socially progressive neighbourhood in Ottawa,” says Hoang. “The people and the businesses here helped raise me. Part of me doesn’t give a damn what the good old boys think, but they are here to help us. Nathan was able to build support. My job is to reach out to sub communities like the gay community. I grew up around here and I have a lot of gay friends. I’ve love to have a meeting with leaders from the gay community to ask them where they want to go and what I can do for them.

The Somerset CPC is located at 393 Somerset St West at Bank. Const. Hoang wants to meet with community leaders. His phone number is 613-236-1222 ext. 5287, and email is hoangk@ottawapolice.ca