Mr. Doug Coates, 1957 – 2010
Acting Police Commissioner (Canada)
Douglas Coates, a national of Canada, was Acting Police Commissioner for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
A Superintendent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, he undertook frequent UN peacekeeping missions to Haiti over a 17-year period.
Former colleagues noted that Doug’s passion, energy, focus and professionalism were instantly recognizable. His son said that he was proud of his father’s work mentoring police officers in MINUSTAH. “He has touched the lives of countless Haitians,” he said.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called him a UN hero and said he was “a great police officer who believed to his core in the importance of rule of law and justice”.
One of Doug’s defining achievements with the UN was to open five police stations in the Grand’Anse region of Haiti, re-establishing police services for the estimated 800,000 citizens of that area.
In 1993, Doug undertook the first of numerous missions to Haiti, where he helped train local law enforcement officers. After several months, he was pressured to leave due to civil unrest in the region but returned in 1995 to continue his work, receiving a medal for his peacekeeping efforts on this subsequent trip.
As a decorated officer, Doug saw his peacekeeping experience as more than a job. According to colleagues, he would close all meetings and correspondence by saying, “Working together in the service of peace” – his personal motto.
This devotion was evident throughout his extensive lawenforcement and peacekeeping career that began in 1978, when he joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He specialized in mountain search and rescue among other things.
After showing his strengths as an investigator in Alberta, Canada, his interests led him to Ottawa where he became part of an elite emergency response team.
In 1996, Doug assumed responsibility for the management of Canadian police deployments, his competency eventually bringing him to head the Proceeds of Crime Unit in Québec, where he focused on money laundering. He also took secondments at Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Ottawa and the Australian Federal Police.
In his extensive career, Doug was the recipient of a Canadian peacekeeping service medal, a Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, a 30-year silver clasp and the police exemplary service medal.
Doug is remembered as a brave and generous friend, colleague, father and husband.
Doug is survived by his wife Lise and their three children Julie, Mathieu and Luc.