Tara Ernst, President of Calgary Beyond The Blue, joined the ‘thin blue line family’ in 2008. Tara and her husband, Graham, benefitted from pre-marriage counseling offered through the Calgary Police Service Chaplains and says it was then that they committed to making it through this police life, thriving together. Tara recognized that the success of their marriage, through the challenges of policing, was going to be largely determined by their attitude, and ensuring they had the tools and knowledge to navigate this unique lifestyle. Tara homeschools their 3 beautiful children from their Calgary home. Tara was an integral part of the team who founded Calgary Beyond The Blue in 2014, recognizing the need for shared connection, resources for police families and a way to bridge the gap that is between our officers and their families. Tara is passionate about her work with BTB, leading its peer support team and a police spouse bible study group. Tara said, “It is my hope that no spouse feels alone in this journey and to know they are part of a bigger, greater family.”
Jessica M. has been a part of the policing family since September of 2011 and joined Calgary Beyond the Blue’s Board of Directors in October of 2016. She is a student as well as a stay-at-home mom to two young boys. She was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and met her husband in Grade 7 although they didn’t become a couple until Grade 12. Her self care activities include sewing, knitting, camping and organization. In relation to being a law enforcement spouse she says “As close as I am with my family, they still do not fully understand the uniqueness of my partner’s career. The BTB community has linked me with amazing, supportive people that help to normalize my situation. I like being a part of that and also helping other people feel connected and “normal” too.”
Courtney Rodych is the Vice President of Calgary Beyond the Blue and has been a Board member since 2017. Her husband has been a member with the Calgary Police Service since 2012. A mother of four, small business owner, passionate volunteer and facilitator she keeps herself busy with her family as well as her many side projects. She is very passionate about helping other police spouses navigate this way of life confidently and with grace. In an effort to share her personal experiences related to her husband's career and the challenges they have faced as a family, she has chosen to focus her efforts more specifically with running different support groups within the Calgary Beyond The Blue community. These groups are for police spouses and other adult family members, centred on the aftermath within families of critical incidents, as well as PTSD, OSI’s and other mental illnesses. She is passionate about her role within these groups and sees her willingness to be vulnerable and open about her experiences to be an asset to the Calgary Beyond The Blue family and community.
Chelsea Saunders has been a Director for Calgary Beyond the Blue since Fall of 2017 although her husband of 5 years has been with the Calgary Police Service since 2013. She is a community support worker as well as mama to one little girl, two labs and a cat. She loves animals and is even a foster parent for the Animal Rescue Foundation. Her and her family love getting out camping anytime their busy lives allow. She is very passionate about equipping police spouses with the tools and support to help navigate the challenges that come with being a police family.