Ridge Meadows RCMP held its first annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at The ACT, honouring almost 100 officers, auxiliary members, municipal staff, program volunteers, and citizens who have helped make this community safe.
RCMP Supt. Dave Walsh, the officer in charge of the local Mounties, summed it up in his presentation.
"It is very important to honour those who ahve given much to the cause of making our community very safe_ We as the police realize we cannot do it along. We rely on the great partnerships and excellent citizens of our community to be effective," Walsh said after presenting all the certificates.
Lauding all the members, staff, and citizens for their contributions, he also extended gratitude to the family and friends in attendance.
"We are indebted to you for all the support you give them. It is fundamental and crucial to their success," he said, looking out in the theatre seats, past the sea of officers in red serge that were up front, to the rest of the folks further back.
"I will never tire of talking about the bragve men and women - both sworn, civilian staff, and citizens - who stood up to the task. Not just for this one incident, but for each and every day," he said.
"It takes a special type of courage and an unshakeable sense of right and wrong. It's the type of bravery and commitment that may be difficult to describe, but we all recognize it when we see it. Tonight, we have come together to celebrate the actions and efforts of those who display such an overriding sense of commitment and civic duty that nothing would stop them - no threat to their own safety, no task too daunting, no obstacle too great."
In applauding the recipients, he concluded: "It is not the material things that we get out of life that are important, but what we do, that forms who we become, and what we contribute that gives true meaning to our lives."
The ceremony was emceed by Sgt. Daryl Creighton, of the Street Enforcement Unit, and this summation is based on his presentation to the crowd.
And this ceremony included special guests the District Commander Assistant Commissioner Norm Lipinski of the Lower Mainland Regional Police Service, as well as Mayor of Pitt Meadows Deb Walters, Mayor of Maple Ridge Ernie Daykin, and officer in charge RCMP Supt. Dave Walsh, as well as various members of both municipal councils, who were seated in the audience.
"Welcome to the Ridge Meadows Detachment Awards Ceremony. We want to extend a special thank you to the spouses, partners and families and friends of our recipients. Your support is greatly appreciated and makes this occasion all the more special," Creighton said, commencing by helping to present the RCMP long service medals.
- Lengthy service lauded
"The long service award ceremony pays tribute to those members and employees of (Lower Mainland's) E Division, who have attained very special milestones in their careers, Creighton explained.
"Today's RCMP long service award recipients have spent between 20 and 35 years as police officers in the service of the RCMP and their country."
The RCMP long service medal, representing 20 years of service, was approved by Royal Warrant and signed by King George V, on March 6th 1934, almost 10 years after it was first requested by Commissioner Starnes in 1925. The first presentation of the long-service medal was held in Ottawa in March 1935, in Cartier drill hall. His Excellency, the Governor General, Count Bessborough presented 71 members of the RCMP with their medals.
Offering more history, Creighton said the first recipient was D/Comm. T.S. Belcher, noting the long service medal is the oldest medal in the Canadian system of awards, and takes precedence, even over the Department of National Defence medal.
After 20 years of loyal service, the member is presented with a silver medal. This medal is one and a half inches in diameter, having on the obverse side the head of the sovereign and on the reverse side the crest and motto of the RCMP surrounded by the legend, "For long service and good conduct."
After 25 years of loyal service, a bronze clasp with one star is added to the medal. After 30 years, a silver clasp with two stars and finally a gold clasp with three or four stars is added in recognition of 35 and 40 years of exemplary service.
The long service medal and clasps are not awarded in recognition of a single act or one specific incident. The medal is awarded in recognition of all those occasions where the recipient had to display courage, daring, bravery, tenacity, patience and good judgement.
"The decorations presented today recognize all those actions that make up a long career of exemplary service as a peace officer," the sergeant said.
"I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the importance of spouses, family members and friends in the career of our police officers, civilian members, public service employees and municipal employees. Let us not forget that throughout these long years of excellent service, the burden of difficult times was lightened due to the support provided by loving and caring family members and personal friends. Therefore, for all your support, we say thank you."
Assistant Comm Lipinski presented the long service medal presentations during Wednesday's ceremony, the first to Staff Sgt. Hector Lee, for his 20 years of meritorious service.
Lee joined the RCMP on Jan. 24, 1992 in Coquitlam. He has served as a member in B.C. and Alberta, currently posted to the Ridge Meadows RCMP as a general duty watch commander.
In September 2010, he was promoted to staff sergeant.
Joining Lee are his wife, Meg, daughter, Rachel, and his mother and father, Yorklin and Lillian Lee.
Another 20-year long service medal was also presented to Cpl. Graeme Mathews, who joined the RCMP on September 18, 1991 - om at Vancouver.
He was initially posted to Melfort, Sask. and is is currently posted to Lower Mainland District Integrated Forensic Identification Services and works out of Ridge Meadows detachment.
In September 1996, he was promoted to corporal.
The final medal was presented to Ridge Meadows RCMP's officer in charge, Supt. Dave Walsh, acknowledging 30 years of meritorious service.
Walsh joined the RCMP on April 30, 1981 in St. John's, N.L. and is currently posted here. He was promoted to superintendent in March 2009.
After being applauded for his long years of service during Wednesday's ceremony, Walsh stayed on stage to present numerous Officer in Charge Certificates of Apprecation.
"There are currently 112 regular members serving at Ridge Meadows detachment, along with a number of members embedded into to our integrated speciality units," Creighton explained.
"We have 45 full-time municipal staff who support the operation along with dozens of part-time and auxiliary staff. Finally, we can not forget about the staff at E-Comm 9-1-1 who receive the calls for service and dispatch our police officers."
All of this work would be impossible without the support of the community and the dedication of citizens who show remarkable courage and perseverance in the face of adversity, the emcee said,, pointing out that some citizens.
"There are more than 70 police officers, civilian staff, volunteers and members of the community who have been identified for outstanding work on investigative files, detachment operations or their commitment to our community," he said.
Acknowledgement was also given to two units from within Ridge Meadows RCMP for its members' outstanding performance, and the cermeony was an opportunity to honour the volunteers "who have reached significant milestones of volunteer service."
- Bridge suicide attempt foiled
Const. Phillip Quelch was given a certificate for outstanding efforts and service in responding to an attempted suicide on the Golden Ears Bridge on April 13, 2011.
"Const. Quelch responded to the report of a distraught and suicidal male on the Golden Ears Bridge. Const. Quelch arrived on scene and found the male perched on the wrong side of the safety barrier. Thinking very quickly, he swiftly positioned himself behind the male and was able to grab him and pull him back over the railing and to safety. Const. Quelch ensured the male was transported to hospital under the Mental Health Act to receive the treatment he required," Creighton read to a large audience filled with members in red serge, dignitaries, municipal staff, families, and friends.
"Const. Quelch's actions and dedication to duty bring credit to himself, the District of Maple Ridge, the City of Pitt Meadows and Ridge Meadows detachment and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police," Creighton said, repeating that same summary after describing each person or unit's reasons for recognition.
- CPR saved man's life
Constables Kenneth Lau and Mike Turner were given certificates for outstanding efforts in responding to an attempted suicide.
"On May 9, 2011, Constan;es Lau and Turner responded to a male attempting to commit suicide by hanging himself inside a residence. Just prior to the members arrival the male was released but dropped and hit his head on the bathtub, causing a deep laceration. The two officers quickly assessed the injuries. The male required breathing assistance but had a pulse. The members administered CPR on the unconscious male until emergency health and fire services arrived. The individual was transported to hospital and placed into ICU. It should be noted that the individual suffered from a mental illness and had a history of such disorders, but likely would have not survived without the efforts of Const. Lau," Creighton said.
- Several honoured in bank heist
Const. Ray Dickenson was given a certificate for outstanding service while investigating a traumatic armed robbery.
"On Jan. 12, 2011 the Toronto-Dominion Bank in Maple Ridge was robbed and the employees terrorized by an armed and aggressive suspect who wore a disguise. Const. Dickenson, through prompt investigative action and communication, quickly determined the identity of a possible suspect and researched the most recent address for him. He broadcasted the information about the suspect, so other police officers could assist, and proceeded to coordinate and facilitate the response to the suspect address. Const. Dickenson's actions contributed to the successful arrest of the suspect he identified, the recovery of the evidence in the form of money taken, and the prosecution against a very dangerous offender."
Const. Jessen Barbour was recognized for outstanding service while investigating a traumatic armed robbery, in connection with the same incident on Jan. 12, 2011.
"Const. Jessen Barbour, junior in service at the time, successfully crafted a detailed search warrant for the suspect vehicle and suspect residence to lawfully search for evidence required to prove the offence. The outstanding actions of Const. Barbour contributed to the successful recovery of money, key evidence and the ultimate arrest and prosecution of a the person responsible for the robbery."
Const. David Motley was also recognized for his role in the TD bank heist just over a year ago in Maple Ridge.
"Const. Motley was directed to attend to most recent suspect address and began neighbourhood enquiries in an attempt to gather evidence. These inquiries led to the successful recovery of the suspect's clothing that was used in his disguise. He had perfect timing as a disposal company arrived just moments after the recovery of the evidence to transfer the containers away for permanent disposal. This would have resulted in the loss of critical evidence. Const. Motley's actions contributed to the successful arrest and prosecution of a very dangerous offender," Creighton said.
John Norman was a citizen given recognized for his role in helping to identify the robbery suspects.
"Mr. John Norman, displaying foresight and diligence, was successfully able to obtain a vehicle licence plate and communicate with police on precise location of the vehicle and the descriptors of the automobile. These outstanding proactive actions contributed to the successful arrest and prosecution of a very dangerous offender."
- Another bridge suicide prevented
Constables Ian Sneddon and Mike Moore were presented certificates for outstanding efforts and service in responding to another attempted suicide on the Golden Ears Bridge, this one on April 7, 2011.
The two officers were patrolling in the area of Golden Ears Way, just north of the Golden Ears Bridge, when a man was reported on the Golden Ears Bridge mid-span with a ladder preparing to jump.
"The members immediately proceeded onto the bridge deck and located the individual at the top of the ladder preparing to jump. The members promptly engaged in conversation, negotiated with the male, and persuaded him to descend, rung by rung until he was safely on the ground. The male was transported to Ridge-Meadows Hospital, where he received the medical treatment he required."
- Armed home invasion suspects arrested at gunpoint
Const. Matthew Traer was recognized for his service while investigating a break and enter and theft.
"On Nov. 19, 2011 a home in Maple Ridge was entered, shots were fired, and the residents terrorized by a number armed suspects," Creighton said.
"While monitoring the information on the police radio and obtaining direction of travel of the suspects, Const. Traer took up a strategic position at the end of a wooded area - where he suspected the culprits may emerge. He witnessed the three suspects exit the wooded area and effected their arrest holding the suspects at gunpoint until his partner arrived to assist. Const. Traer's acitons contributed to a high risk arrest and a successful prosecution of the persons responsible for the crimes."
- Distraught woman rescued
"On Jan. 2, 2011, Const. Erin Lewis was responding to a call of a suicidal and distraught female in Pitt Meadows. While en-route to the location of the female, it was learned that the individual had an extensive history of anxiety, depression, and multiple attempts of suicide. It was learned the female had departed her location and was now mobile in a vehicle with location unknown. Const. Lewis successfully located the vehicle and made contact with the female who was still conscious. Learning that the female had ingested a large volume of pills, enough to cause herself a life threatening situation. Const. Lewis used her previous career training in emergency medical services to induce the person to vomit thereby saving her life."
- Concealed shooting victim found
Const. Paula Haider was given a certificate of appreciation for outstanding investigation in locating and caring for an injured person.
"On Nov. 26, 2011 a report was received of shots fired at a residence in Maple Ridge. Const. Haider responded to the scene with several other members and began to search the property in an attempt to locate a victim or evidence. Haider located an individual concealed under a tarp, in medical distress and clinging to life. She rendered first aid and remained with the shooting victim until BC Ambulance Service arrived to take over life saving efforts. The victim survived, as a result of the thorough search of the property by Const. Haider," Creighton told Wednesday's crowd.
- Girl survives being struck by train
Const. Tom Graham was lauded for outstanding investigation and care while investigating and locating and injured civilian.
"On April 4, 2010, RCMP received a report of a female missing from a party she attended. This behaviour was described to be unusual and concerning. Cst. Graham was familiar with the area and was aware to the fact that the female could be near railroad tracks. Climbing fences and traversing through deep ditches, he successfully located the female laying on the railroad tracks in distress. Const. Graham approached the female and determined that she had severe injuries and was going in and out of conscientious, the result of being struck by a train," Creighton said, recounting details of the incident.
" Const. Graham provided first aid and ensured emergency medical services were directed to the area. He also demonstrated a great deal of compassion as he has remained in contact with the family to support them throughout the ordeal and you will be happy to note that the girl is doing well."
- Leader commended for new unit
Const. Christopher Wilson was given a certificate for outstanding service and contributions to the City of Pitt Meadows, District of Maple Ridge, and the Ridge Meadows RCMP in forming, leading, and directing the domestic violence unit while taking on the role of being the high-risk missing person coordinator at the local detachment.
"In 2010, Ridge Meadows detachment implemented a dedicated unit to specialize in domestic violence and high-risk missing persons. Const. Chris Wilson was selected for the coordinator position and has led and developed the unit in consultation with vital partners such as front line officers, healthcare stakeholders, Crown counsel, victim services, and transition homes - to name just a few. Working an extremely flexible schedule, and often working odd hours and on days off, Const. Wilson has received numerous accolades and positive feedback from the vulnerable people that he has been involved with," Creighton explained.
- Credit given for strong online presence
Cpl. Todd Balaban was recognized for his development of an Internet website and social networking for the RCMP.
"Communication is a vital priority for successful service delivery at the Ridge Meadows detachment. Effective communication with citizens and partners is fundamental in having safe communities. The many programs and services of the detachment are most effective when the public has direct access to that information. Cpl. Balaban was responsible for bringing our external website to life," the emcee relayed.
"Working closely with E Division communications, Cpl. Balaban ensured the website was compliant with approved standards and was easily accessible. He crafted a detailed information portal, which shares news of the detachment, contact information, and important details on our priorities and services. Cpl. Balban's dedication to this large project and dedication to our community were realized with the launch of the website in 2011."
- Theft on river foiled
Cpl. Dave Ewert was recognized for his role in the investigation and recovery of stolen property.
"Thinking outside the box is a term often used to describe creative thinking. On July 14, 2011, Cpl. Ewert responded to a theft in progress on the Fraser River. It was reported that individuals had just stolen a pair of 5,000 gallon fuel tanks and were floating the tanks downstream using a boat to pull them. Cpl. Ewert positioned himself downstream, knowing that there were no police boats in the area. The culprits realized the police were waiting on shore so they cut the tether allowing the tanks to drift dangerously. He knew there could be disastrous property and environmental damage if the tanks were not secured. Ewert observed a tug working on the river, communicated with the crew onboard and obtained their assistance in securing the fuel tanks and towing them to shore and enabling the safe return of the property to the rightful owners."
Capt. Wayne Mack and Doug Coward were also applauded for their role in recovering the stolen property.
Mack and Coward assisted by retrieving an RCMP officer from the banks of the river, then receiving direction from police proceeded to "expertly secure the dangerous fuel tanks. Captain Mack and Mr. Coward selflessly towed the fuel tanks to the shore where they were later collected by the rightful owner," Creighton told the audience, while the first of several citizens were called to the stage for accolades.
- Members witnesses death of police dog
Const. Melvin Sansome was given a certificate of appreciation for outstanding service and lending assistance and comfort to fallen Police Dog Service member, Bear.
"Cst. Sansome and Police Service Dog, Bear, responded to a violent home invasion on June 12, 2011. During the initial police response to the scene, Const. Sansome observed a suspect flee the scene on foot. The suspect deployed pepper spray in an attempt to thwart police tactics and allow his escape. Nevertheless, Police Service Dog, Bear, and Sansome obtained a track and an intense foot pursuit began. The police dog was off lead when the track took Bear across Lougheed Highway, with police officers following close behind. Bear was accidentally struck by a passing vehicle. Sansome provided care at the scene, but ultimately realized that (PDS member) Bear gave his life in the performance of duty. Const. Sansome has not been deterred by the events of that most unfortunate night and has resumed crime fighting efforts with a new and eager partner."
Const. Curtis Hall was also acknowledged for outstanding service and professional focus during the same incident.
Const. Hall, along with other police officers and Bear, responded to the home invasion, and Hall gave chase - fighting through the effects of the pepper spray discharged by the suspect.
"He kept pace with the police dog handler and police dog as they tracked the suspect on foot, and Const. Hall maintained incredible professional focus despite the fact that he witnessed the police dog accidentally get struck by a passing motorist."
After a brief pause at the scene of the accident, to see what he could do, Hall maintained the pursuit and ultimately caught up to the suspect and arrested the individual under "very adverse conditions."
- Fingerprint matches highest in region
Eugene Wong was honoured for his work with the Lower Mainland's integrated forensic identification section, contributing to the highest successful fingerprint matches of any detachment in the district.
In the fall of 2010, Wong started working in one of the newly created in a unique civilian positions within called a forensic identification assistant.
"Since that time, Mr. Wong maintained one of the highest case loads in the Lower Mainland District, which lead him to the highest successful fingerprint match rate of any LMD's district detachment. His prompt and efficient work, outstanding attention to detail, and work ethic has assisted in evidence collection vital to the overall success of hundreds of criminal cases," Creighton explained.
- Sex assault investigators honoured
Ridge Meadows RCMP's serious crime unit was applauded for its outstanding service and diligence while investigating a "stranger" sex assault.
"On March 28, 2010, the Ridge Meadows serious crime unit led a fast-paced and intense investigation of a sexual assault on a female victim at knifepoint. The female, alone and enjoying a day out riding her bike was confronted, threatened, and sexually assaulted in a public area by a total stranger.
"The serious crime unit was diligent in ensuring a comprehensive investigation to identify and locate a suspect. They conducted several important interviews and eventually recovered the victim's DNA evidence on the suspect. As a result of their efforts and a unbeatable investigative package the Crown secured a conviction and a five-year prison term," Creighton said, calling up Cpl. Clay Copeland, Cpl. Adam Gander, Const. Aaron Lloyd, Const. Erika Rast, Const. Curtis Schull, and31. Dawn Marese-Varco to accept accolades.
- Gas dousing robbery solved
Members of the street enforcement unit at the Ridge Meadows RCMP were honoured for outstanding service and performance while investigating an abduction.
"On May 22, 2009, members of the street enforcement unit (SEU) initiated surveillance on a prolific offender operating a motor vehicle. SEU members planned to apprehend the driver once the vehicle could be stopped without a dangerous pursuit. Moments earlier, and unbeknownst to SEU, a violent abduction was witnessed by two citizens and SEU advised it involved the same occupied vehicle they were currently following," said Creighton, especially pleased to be honouring members of his own unit for their work.
"It was reported by the witnesses that a male was beaten and forced into that vehicle. SEU quickly intervened, but all offenders attempted to flee on foot when the vehicle was stopped. The driver attempted to discard a large amount of cash just prior to his arrest. The abducted male victim was recovered inside the car still bound and tied and severely beaten but all suspects were identified and charged. In the investigation, SEU learned that the victim won a large amount of money at a casino, but was robbed as the suspects doused him with gasoline and abducted him to steal his winnings. After a very challenging time managing the victim and keeping him motivated to testify the primary accused received a five-year jail sentence that withstood appeals."
He called on members of the SEU, including Cpl. Ty Vong, Const. Zahir Abdulla, Const. Steve Auger, Cpl. Shawn Baly, Const. Dave Bazett, Const. Mike Cardinal, Const. Deanna Hawes, Const. Brian Sprott, and Const. Brenda Winpenny up to the stage to be acknowledged for their role in this case.
- More accolades for street enforcement team
The Street Enforcement Unit was also given a further award for oustanding service to the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
"The Street Enforcement Unit (SEU) has a broad and demanding mandate. SEU assumes significant responsibility in the detachment's crime-reduction strategy. SEU takes a leading role in coordinating stolen auto and property crime investigations, develops and handles the majority of the human source information, and is responsible for the many complex drug investigations, including meth labs, crack shacks and grow operations," said Creighton.
"SEU are experts in covert surveillance techniques and are also tasked with coordinating robbery investigations. It is without question that Ridge Meadows SEU is a very unique and special unit that is relied upon to take swift action on a very wide array of complex local and regional crimes."
Again the team members were called to the stage to accept this honour, including: Cpl. Shawn Baly, Const. Stephen Auger, Const. Peter McDonald, Const. Amy Wilcott, Const. Jessen Barbour, Const. Shauna England, Const. Mike Cardinal, Const. Deanna Hawes, Const. Zaheer Abdulla, Const. Thomas Saunders, Const. Chris Barr, and Const. Lauren Hermann.
- Volunteers reach milestones
A/Commr. Lipinski and the mayors were asked to make a series of other presentations to volunteers who have donated five and 10 years of service to the community as volunteers with the RCMP.
"The safety of any city relies on the commitment of its residents to take an active role in looking out for one another and their community. Many different programs come together at Ridge Meadows detachment to enhance the safety of our city," Creighton said.
"These programs rely on the dedication and commitment of volunteers to ensure their success. Volunteers give their own time to serve as Auxiliary Constables, as staff in the Community Policing Offices of Pitt Meadows, in Block Watch, Victim Services, Crime Watch, Speed Watch and Crime Free Multi Housing. Today, we will recognize volunteers who have reached significant milestones in years of service."
The first set of pins and certificates were presented for years of service with the RCMP auxiliary. They were presented to auxiliary constables Gail Blok, David Cooke, Derrick Keist, and Graham Purdey for five years of service. A number were also honoured for 10 years of service, including auxiliary constables Lynne Bradley, Martyn Garner, Kiehah Kim, and Deepak Sharma.
Lipinski also presented certificates of appreciation and service pins to a group of volunteers: to Heather Cattanach and Pete Sargent for five years of dedication; to Lorane Lipscombe, David Stephenson, Ronalda Brusatore, Nigel Smith-Gander, and Keri Willis for 10 years.
- Mayors help laud municipal staffers
Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin and Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters assisted Supt. Walsh in recognizing municipal employees for their long service.
"In addition to the police officers at Ridge Meadows detachment, there is a strong team of municipal employees supporting operations in various capacities. This year we will recognize our long service municipal employees for their long standing dedication to our communities," Creighton said.
Catherine Senay is the Ridge Meadows detachment court liaison coordinator.
"Catherine is a vital part of detachment operations and the information flow to and from other levels of the justice system. Catherine's dedication to duty, and attention to detail have made her a valued member of the our team for over 30 years."
Cheryl Titman is the Ridge Meadows detachment CPIC coordinator who has a detailed and expert knowledge of this complex national computer information repository.
"Cheryl's dedication to duty and attention to detail have made her a valued member of the our team for over 20 years," the emcee said.
Paul Antoniuk is a Ridge Meadows detachment custodial guard.
"His job is a vital part of detachment operations and the safe security of the people held in police custody. Paul's dedication to duty have made him a valued member of our team for 20 years."
Additional awards were presented to staff, including a certificate of apprecation given to Vicki Castro for creation and support of the 2011 Friends in Need Food Bank campaign.
"The 2011 Friends in Need Food bank food drive campaign was an initiative in the District of Maple Ridge to gather food donations and overall support for the Friends in Need Food Bank. Many groups within the District of Maple Ridge participated and a good-hearted competition emerged among the various sections to see who could get the most food and donations. Through the encouragement and leadership of Ms. Castro, the Ridge Meadows detachment accumulated and donated 940 items of food along with cash, far distancing all competitors within the District."
Shanna Baker was also recognized, her acknowledgement coming for outstanding leadership, supervision, and quality service within the Ridge Meadows records section.
"The RCMP Records Section includes PRIME reviewers, CPIC, Quality Assurance and Court Liaison staff, including many specialized assistance duties to regular members and the records management system. During a recent formal audit conducted by E Division Informatics, the unit - under Ms. Baker's supervision - achieved the lowest scoring error rates" in the Lower Mainland, earning her this accolade, along with other members of the record unit: Lynda Delainy, Kelly Cotter, Janet Tuka, Deb Thompson, Mardi MacDonald, Catherine Senay, Andrea Ferreira, Deb Cook, and Heather Kaczor.
Special honours were also bestowed on Zink.
"If there is ever a person who, just by being in the room, exudes an energy, a desire to be involved and to serve the community, that would be Ms. Fadwa Zink," Creighton said.
"Ms. Zink is an active Citizen On Patrol member leading communication efforts amongst their team. She was a key component in getting the Ridge Meadows detachment Regimental Ball initiated and ultimately its successful conclusion. Ms. Zink's in the first voice you hear when you call the detachment. She is consistently an ardent supporter of the RCMP and the District of Maple Ridge and City of Pitt Meadows."
For all this, she was singled out for honour.
- Honouring citizens who stepped up
Aurora Donald was given a certificate of aAppreciation for outstanding honesty and community leadership in the investigation of a robbery and recovery of stolen property.
"On Nov. 30, 2011 a female called police and reported that her purse, containing all of her identification, cash and her smart phone was lost and possibly stolen. Ms. Donald, while walking in a local park, located the purse and all of the contents intact. But no one was around who appeared to have control of the property. She did exactly the right thing, secured the purse and turned it over to someone in authority. The contents and purse were returned to the rightful owner. Donald's honesty, integrity, and genuine interest to ensure the valuable contents were returned to the owner, were reflected in the concern and emotions displayed during the incident."
Cathy Duffy and Charles Gale were also acknowledged for coming forward with important information during a fraud investigaiton involving - primarily - senior citizens.
"Starting in 2007, a major fraud suspect was active in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows area, defrauding and preying upon seniors, taking their hard earned money and investments," Creighton told the audience on Wednesday.
"Mr. Gale, being a victim himself of the fraud, was instrumental in identifying additional victims and coordinating their experiences with clearly laid out evidence. In addition, Ms. Duffy provided many donated hours of forensic auditing services to support the investigation that involved numerous victims who were defrauded in excess of $400,000."
Zachary Jorgensen was given a certificate for his role in the investigation of a robbery and recovery of stolen property at the Haney Place Mall in December.
"On Dec. 13, 2011 a robbery occurred at a local mall. The victim in the robbery pursued the suspect in the direction of the Youth Centre. Mr. Jorgenson was exiting the youth centre and saw the suspect approaching. He stepped in front of him, and was able to slow that person down enough so that the victim, who was still in pursuit, was able to catch up and retrieve her purse," Creighton said.
Three representatives of the business community were also applauded for their help in organizing and hosting the 2011 Ridge Meadows Police Fair and Child Identification event at Valley Fair Mall.
Nicole Archer, on behalf of the mall, along with Mike Cummings from London Drugs, and David Jukes from Flying Wedge Pizza, were instrumental in organizing the space and equipment for last June's event.
"Mr. Jukes, seeing the larger than expected crowd, and the members in need of sustenance, provided his store facilities to allow members to cool down from the high temperatures and provided food throughout the day. The success of this program and the wonderful memories could not have been achieved without their dedication and enthusiasm towards the RCMP and their community," Creighton said, announcing the last recipient as Christopher Morrison (see TIMES story for details on his award).