Cst. Hally Willmott has been a member of the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) for almost 20 years. She volunteered as an Auxiliary Officer prior to her employment with GSPS.
I was introduced to Cst. Willmott almost five years ago when she was transferred into the Community Mobilization Unit (CMU) as a School Resource Officer. She became an advisor on the Chief's Youth Advisory Council (CYAC), a council comprised of youth in our community, in which I was already a member. I connected with Cst. Willmott immediately; I could feel her genuineness and kind heart shine through the second I met her. At that point in my life I was shy, insecure, and had not yet found my place. Cst. Willmott would always take the time to make sure I felt at home, and slowly pulled me out of my shell.
At this time, I worked at a youth centre in the city, where Cst. Willmott attended for youth engagement and presentations. I watched her inspire youth to the point where one child asked if she could give me a letter she had written Cst. Willmott outlining how she had changed that little girl's life. Knowing the struggles that youth was facing, and seeing the impact Cst. Willmott made in the short time she was with her, was inspiring to everyone in the room that day.
All these years later, I am now a full time employee of the Greater Sudbury Police Service, and I work with Cst. Willmott in the Community Mobilization Unit. She has always been one of my strongest influences and most genuine supports in becoming a member of the service, and being confident in my abilities reach this place in my life.
Since my employment almost two years ago, I have had the opportunity to see the difference Cst. Willmott makes first-hand. She takes her position to the next level by making sure that each youth she interacts with leaves knowing they were heard, appreciated, and understood. I have watched her reach youth that were deemed "unreachable� and connect with youth who were too far gone.�"
Cst. Willmott believes in breaking down the barriers between youth and police. She will attend the local Adult Learning Center in plain clothes to build positive relationships with the youth who may struggle with police, and then share her profession with the students. She always goes the extra mile.
Cst. Willmott conducts drop-ins in our local secondary schools. I have attended with her on multiple occasions and I have witnessed how quickly she becomes involved in youth's lives. She connects with them, and is always interested in where they are in their lives, where they want to be, and how they are going to get there. Recently she had a conversation with a youth in the hallway where the youth mentioned she was trying to fundraise to participate in an extra-curricular activity outside of school, and Cst. Willmott asked her how she could help. She is constantly supporting youth and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
Cst. Willmott continuously comes up with new ideas and initiatives to connect with our community, and help build positive relationships within our city. She helps organize the Polar Plunge locally, and even took the plunge last year to raise money for Special Olympics. She is on the Committee of Youth Officers (COYO), and is integral in planning the annual conference which brings together those working with youth all over the province. She came up with the idea of hosting a Lip Sync Battle against a local school during Police Week last year, and it was such a success that it is being extended to over 6 schools this year as part of our opening ceremonies event. (Last year's video is attached to the nomination package). I also receive emails from her over the weekend with ideas on how we can work to further empower youth. She is always aiming to make a difference, and she is exactly who you would want in a School Resource Officer.
Heroes are there when you don't expect it, they make a silent difference in the community, and they change people's lives. Cst. Willmott has done all this and more. I know that she has a hard time being recognized, and being in the spotlight, but there is no doubt that the City of Greater Sudbury is a better place because of who she is both in uniform, and behind the badge.
photo courtesy of the CBC