On Thursday night Surrey RCMP officers, auxiliaries, support staff, volunteers, and partners were recognized at the Surrey Board of Trade’s 22nd annual Police Officer of the Year Awards. The event celebrates the collaborative efforts of both the Surrey detachment and local business community for their outstanding service, innovation and commitment to public safety.
The following award recipients were announced by the Surrey Board of Trade:
Inspector Wendy Mehat was named Police Officer of the Year (nominated by the community) for her commitment to reducing crime, enhancing community safety and encouraging others to action. Insp. Mehat was instrumental in the development of the “Car Yankee 30” program for at-risk youth and implementing cultural awareness training for employees and outreach programs for youth and refugees.
Corporal Aaron Labrum was named Police Officer of the Year (nominated by peers) for his proactive policing approach to ensuring the safety and stability of the 135A Street area. Cpl. Labrum also participates in many community projects and he leads his team in issuing impaired driving violations.
Craig Monro was named the Municipal Employee of the Year for his work with the Youth Intervention Program providing counselling to thousands of vulnerable youth and families. He has partnered with many organizations to identify service gaps for high risk offenders and is a point of contact for many other intervention programs to address youth behaviours before more specialized treatment is needed.
Staff Sergeant Neil Kennedy received the Arnold Silzer Community Policing Initiative Award for leading one of the largest police youth sections in the country. During his time in charge of the Youth Section, S/Sgt. Kennedy expanded and launched a number of youth programs and developed partnerships with many community partners to enhance positive police interactions with young people.
Police Mental Health Intervention Unit was named the Police Team of the Year for their proactive and integrated approach to address public safety, health and quality of life issues in Surrey. The unit consists of liaison officers who address repeat calls for service or high risk situations that are connected to chronic mental health issues. It also includes the Car 67 program which pairs an officer with a mental health nurse to provide specialized responses to situations where mental illness is a significant factor.
Bill Ingram was named Volunteer of the Year for contributing over 500 hours of volunteer service since 2017 and recovering multiple stolen vehicles through the Stolen Auto Recovery program. Bill also assists in training and mentoring new volunteers and serves as a positive example to all volunteers.
Doyle Willett was named Auxiliary of the Year for contributing over 3,700 volunteer hours to promote crime reduction in Surrey since 2005. He has participated in numerous community events, assists in training new Auxiliaries, and uses his knowledge of martial arts to engage youth in the Code Blue after school fitness program and other initiatives.
Super Save Group received the Police and Business Partnership Award for their proactive approach to combatting fraud and identify theft in Surrey. Super Save Group hosts regular Shred-a-Thon events with the Surrey RCMP, donating their trucks and drivers, and raising money and food for the Surrey Food Bank. Over $36,000 and 6,000 lbs of food has been raised as a result of these events.
“Congratulations to all of the nominees and finalists for their outstanding contributions to public safety,” says Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge, Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald. “These efforts are only a small sample of the great work being done in our city every day by our officers, staff, auxiliaries, volunteers and partners. Thank you to the Surrey Board of Trade for their continued support and to the entire business community for working with us to create a safe and livable Surrey.”
“The relationship between business and the RCMP is important because we are both working towards a healthy and safe community for our residents and businesses,” says Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman. “The Surrey Board of Trade celebrates the work of the Surrey RCMP because they do excellent work in ensuring the safety of our city and our businesses. Their jobs are not easy. Their innovation, work ethic, cross-collaboration, makes the Surrey RCMP leaders in Canada. In this 22nd annual event, the Surrey Board of Trade is proud to celebrate the Surrey RCMP in this unique event in Canada.”
Partial proceeds from the Police Officer of the Year Awards event go towards the RCMP Youth Academy.