Sgt. Adam Carter - Niagara Region Police Service

Sergeant Adam Carter has been a sworn member of the Niagara Regional Police Service since 1998. He is being nominated for the Police Association of Ontario’s Police Services Hero of the Year Award in the Community Role Model category for his commitment to community engagement, dedication to volunteerism and contributions to Niagara over the past 30 years.

Sgt. Carter is known throughout the region's not-for-profit/charitable community for his community engagement. He has volunteered with St John Ambulance since 1994 and has held several senior volunteer leadership roles, such as Regional Community Services Coordinator. In his 30 years with the organization, he has accumulated over 12,000 volunteer community service hours. The impact of his efforts over the past 3 decades are numerous and best demonstrated by 2 more recent initiatives. In August 2022, he used two weeks of his annual leave so that he could volunteer each day at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, and before that in 2020, he volunteered over 1000 hours in only 4 months to help start up a shelter for new immigrants seeking asylum, for them to be able to comply with the governments covid-19 quarantine order.

In 2022 Sgt. Carter started volunteering with a local air cadet squadron. After putting in over 200 hours in the first year, he contributed an additional 300 plus volunteer hours in 2023. In addition to instructing with the youth leadership program, he used his experience with St John Ambulance to teach life-saving skills to the cadets. He developed a first-aid team for the cadets to compete in first-aid competitions. His efforts in developing the new initiative were acknowledged in 2023 when he was awarded the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Central) Commanding Officer’s Medallion for “Fostering Youth Excellence”.

Before working with the cadet program Sgt. Carter, he had been a fixture in the soccer community of Niagara for over 20 years. He was a former university athlete and a member of the Brock Badgers, 1995 National Bronze Medal Team, and after graduation, he became an internationally licenced soccer coach. For more than 2 decades, he impacted the lives of hundreds of young athletes while volunteering in varying capacities with several local clubs. He established himself as one of the premier goalkeeper coaches in the Niagara peninsula, ran his own academy for 6 years, and served as the goalkeeper coach for the Brock Men’s Soccer Program from 2012 – 2017. In 2023, he was recognized by his alma mater and received the Brock University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Engagement.

In addition to Sg.t Carter’s personal volunteer efforts, he has also dedicated a large portion of his professional career to community-based policing and community engagement initiatives. During his first five years as a patrol officer, he was heavily involved in the Service’s school liaison program, working with more than a half dozen different schools during his district postings. His efforts in the early 2000s at two local high schools received much media attention. They led to him authoring a proposal for the development of a School Liaison Officer of the Year Award that was accepted by the Deputy Chief and developed into the Service’s Community Police Officer of the Year Award. The combination of both his “on-duty” and “off-duty” community engagement efforts led to his participation on the Service’s Community Strategic Action Plan Committee, a recommendation for appointment to the Niagara Region Children’s Safety Village, Board of Directors by his Superintendent, and was selected as the 2003 Officer of the Year by his District Commander. In 2002 he also received the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal for “Outstanding Community Commitment”.

Professionally, Sgt. Carter is most known for his 16 years as a traffic management and road safety specialist. During this period of his career, he represented the service on several local, provincial and national committees, including the OACP Traffic Committee for 3 years as the Chair of the Collision Reconstruction Subcommittee, the OACP Speed Management Advisory Subcommittee, as Secretary on the Canadian Association of Traffic Accident Investigators and Reconstructionist, and on the Niagara Road Safety Committee. He has also participated in several service-driven community engagement initiatives outside of working hours, such as Cops for Cancer, Ontario Special Olympics Bowling, Help A Child Smile, Chief of Police Challenge for Charity Soccer Games, and as a member of the Canadian Police Memorial Ride to Remember from 2016 – 2022.

Sgt. Carter’s last posting as the Admin Sergeant to a District Commander had him supporting the Service’s community engagement strategy on a daily basis. He regularly liaised with community partners, helping to plan special events such as the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games Torch Relay. He also assisted with local community-based initiatives, such as their annual Christmas Toy Drive and Adopt a Family. The posting ultimately led to him making the connection to his most recent volunteer commitment, as a member of his town’s Active Transportation Committee. While his participation is as a private citizen, it is his knowledge and expertise as traffic management and road safety specialists that is having an impact on the committee’s ability to recommend safer alternative active transportation options for the residents and visitors to the community.

Sgt. Carter has demonstrated a holistic approach to community service, dedicating all aspects of both his personal and professional life to community engagement. As a community role model, he has set a high volunteer standard. He has demonstrated the ability to draw on experiences from different areas of his life and then use them to impact other community-based organizations positively. His ability to transfer his knowledge, skills and lived experiences, combined with his willingness to volunteer his time, has helped improve his community while impacting and enriching the lives of thousands of families and youth throughout Niagara for over 30 years.

After suffering an operational stress injury in 2016, Sgt. Carter began to educate himself in the field of critical incident stress awareness. He went on to obtain several certifications in the areas of Crisis Intervention, Trauma Response, Mental Health & Wellness, Critical Incident Stress Management, and is a certified Individual and Group Crisis Intervention Instructor with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. He has voluntarily used his experience and training to certify dozens of other healthcare professionals and first responders in these areas over the past five years. He regularly volunteers to provide educational presentations on mental health and wellness for various community and social support groups, such as the local health care system, therapy dog programs, shelter workers, and emergency response volunteers. He also previously volunteered with his service's peer support and crisis intervention teams for three years. He was recognized in 2019 for "peer support assistance" as a "lived experience" volunteer with Badge of Life Canada. He has previously raised funds for Wounded Warriors Canada through voluntary participation in their annual Ride for Mental Health. He continues to champion a better understanding of mental health and improved administrative processes that can be triggers and traumas for those struggling.

He is a most worthy recipient of the Police Association of Ontario’s Police Services Hero of the Year Award as a Community Role Model.