B.C. police honoured for valour, meritorious service

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Victoria: Police officers who braved armed suspects, flames and icy waters to save others, and whose remarkable work enhanced safety in their communities, were recognized tonight at Government House.

At B.C.’s 34th annual Police Honours Night, Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon and Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton presented awards to 87 outstanding officers, who include:

  • Eight officers who helped workers escape their maze-like, smoke-filled office after an armed ex-employee set a fire and created additional hazards by wrecking furniture and equipment.
  • An officer whose first-aid efforts likely saved the life of a man whose femur had been shattered by a rifle shot at close range.
  • Two officers who waded into an ice-cold, fast-moving river to save a suicidal, hypothermic woman.

In all, 19 officers received the award of valour, the highest award for a police officer in B.C. These officers made a decision to place themselves at substantial risk to save others.

Sixty-eight police officers were awarded meritorious service honours. This recognizes exemplary performance that exceeds expectations and enhances the public image of police officers.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton said, “The depth of commitment, clear-headedness and skill demonstrated by these officers – in perilous moments, and over longer periods of service – are examples to their colleagues and those who aspire to policing and other first responder roles. Officers like these directly contribute so much to the safety of our communities, and their accomplishments are worthy of recognition and celebration.”

The following honourees were selected by a committee of representatives from the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ministry of Justice’s Police Services Division.

AWARDS OF VALOUR:

Vancouver Police Department

Sergeant Dennis Scally, Detective Constable Jennifer Daniel and Constables Michelle Allen, Pablo Cian, Geoff Gaudette, Kyle Marynick, Courtney Srigley and Name Withheld – helped victims to escape a fire set by an armed man.

Constables Brian Chernoff and Graeme Wells – saved a combative, suicidal woman from hanging herself.

Detective Constable Craig Look – single-handedly dealt with an advancing, armed suspect.

Golden Detachment

Constable Kevin Johnson – worked to save a passenger from a vehicle as it became fully engulfed in flames.

Nanaimo Detachment

Corporal Phyllis Nielsen and Constable Martin Kortas – rescued a suicidal woman from a fast-moving river.

Oceanside Detachment

Constable Rochelle Carr (currently with RCMP Criminal Intelligence Section) – stopped two thieves who were using their vehicle as a weapon.

Surrey Detachment

Constable David Francoeur (currently with “E” Division Headquarters) – rescued a neighbour in New Westminster from her burning home.

West Kelowna Detachment

Constable Kent Hall and Reserve Constable Sean Lloyd – seized and saved a suicidal woman as she leapt from a bridge.

West Shore Detachment

Reserve Constable Scott Rothermel – searched a burning home for occupants.

AWARDS OF MERITORIOUS SERVICE:

Delta Police Department/New Westminster Police Department

Constables Joe Da Silva and Names Withheld (x2) (Delta Police Department), Roger Rempel (New Westminster Police Department) – restrained a drugged, agitated and suicidal male who claimed to have a gun.

New Westminster Police Department

Corporal Sean Schultz and Constables Sean Hackman, Stu Hagen, Ryan Long, Fiona Reid and Justine Thom (currently with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team) – judiciously used less-lethal force options to save a man who was armed and suicidal.

South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service

Staff Sergeant C.J. Kyle – while recovering from a broken shoulder, helped to stop a man from jumping in front of a SkyTrain.

Vancouver Police Department

Sergeant Hal Hamilton – undertook meticulous evidence-gathering and research critical to solving a brutal murder.

Sergeant Leah Terpsma, Detective Constables Glenn Burchart, James Hamade and Dan Murphy, Constable Rob Mitchelson and Names Withheld (x2) – identified and apprehended a serial child predator whose crimes spanned 14 years.

Constables Daniel Ames and Tyrone Sideroff – stopped a crazed, armed man threatening many people with a large knife.

Constables Peter Hooper and Mark Mann – stopped a rampaging man who had slashed seven people.

Constables Paul Kemp and Sam Primerano – stopped a mentally ill, suicidal man who was slashing himself.

West Vancouver Police Department

Sergeant Timothy Kravjanski and Constables Kieran O’Reilly and Gregory Trenholm – saved a woman from potential death at the hands of her partner.

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit

Deputy Chief Constable Andrew Richards (currently with the Port Moody Police Department), Staff Sergeant Michael Coyle (currently with Langley Detachment), Sergeant William Whalen, Name Withheld, and Detectives Timothy Rayner and Andrew Wooding (currently with Abbotsford Police Department) – collaborated to take down the leader of B.C.’s most powerful gang and six gangsters convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

Sergeant Ryan Element, Corporal Joel Hussey and Names Withheld (x2)– worked on a major operation over 10 months to stop a trafficker of illegal firearms.

Sergeants Brad Moller (currently with Delta Police Department) and William Whalen, Detective Christopher Atwell (currently with the Vancouver Police Department), and Constables Stephanie Taylor and Kevin Thomson – brought considerable expertise and dedicated long hours to a complex, multi-jurisdictional drug sting.

Burns Lake Detachment and Prince George Police Dog Service

Corporal Christopher Ivany (currently with Salmon Arm Detachment) and Corporal Ryan Drohomereski (currently with “F” Division, Prince Albert Police Dog Service) – saved a suicidal, hypothermic man from near death.

Kamloops Detachment

Staff Sergeant Benoit Rodrigue (currently with North Vancouver Detachment) – displayed superior crisis negotiation skills during an incident involving an armed hostage-taker.

Lake Country Detachment

Corporal Tess Guay (currently with Kelowna Detachment) – delivered life-saving first aid to a shooting victim who had lost a considerable amount of blood.

Corporal Mike Loerke (currently with Penticton Detachment) and Constable Carl Stene – endured hypothermia to save a motorist from a vehicle submerged in a lake.

Merritt Detachment

Corporal Kelly Bartch and Constable Tracy Dunsmore – in support of community relationships, voluntarily developed an accredited university course on the history and relationship of the RCMP and Aboriginal police perceptions.

North Cowichan/Duncan Detachment

Constable William Craig Ligget – helped to talk an unfocused, suicidal man away from his knife.

Oceanside Detachment

Corporal Stuart Foster (currently with Port Hardy Detachment) – helped to safely conclude an intoxicated man’s shooting rampage.

Port Hardy and Port McNeill Detachments

Constables Fletcher Chisholm (currently with Sooke Detachment), Cedric Gnyp and Ian McLeod (currently with Vernon/North Okanagan Detachment) – Port Hardy Detachment; and Andrew Bachmann (currently with Castlegar Detachment) and Christopher Voller (currently with Comox Valley Detachment) – Port McNeill Detachment – saved two people from a potentially deadly attack on a vessel at sea.

Salmon Arm Detachment

Constable Micah Chan – quickly attended to a canoeist and her dog who were drowning in cold waters.

Southeast District Police Dog Service

Corporal Phillip Sullivan – tracked and rescued a traveller lost in the wilderness and at risk of hypothermia.

Summerland Detachment

Constable Jordan Luscombe (currently with Shawnigan Lake Detachment) – talked a suicidal teen away from a 91-metre-high (300-foot-high) drop.

Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment

Corporals Lee Dyson and Layne Penner (currently with Surrey Detachment), and Constables Kevin Morris and Matt Wright – rescued a distraught woman from her vehicle, which was submerged in a water-filled ditch.

West Shore Detachment

Corporal Bryson Hill and Constables Melissa Gorman and Harrison Teed (currently with RCMP Musical Ride) – worked tirelessly to save a young woman from a wrecked vehicle that was upside-down in a ditch.