Cst. Megan Ryan - Hamilton Police Service

I was torn between nominating Megan for the Extra Mile Award, Community Role Model or On-Duty Difference Maker…because she’s all of them. I met Megan through my role with a local charity focused on at-risk children and youth. Our long-standing community partnership with Hamilton Police Services meant we frequently communicated with them about events, collaborations, etc. My first interaction with Megan was that she was eager to come to our event & engage with our members & their families. Truth be told, many of them have unpleasant experiences with HPS due to their home life, & Megan knew that it was important to let them know & feel that police are ALWAYS there to help, are approachable & fun. Megan & her partner played games with the kids & engaged in other great activities with them. After the event, charity staff & event guests raved about how amazing Megan was. Lots of kids even said their thoughts about police changed after meeting her. After that first interaction, I knew she was special. Every event we hosted, I invited her. She came to each one with a smile on her face & an underlying mission to shift the mindset of our charity’s youth towards police. She succeeded in doing this every single time. I came to find out that she also sat on a committee, Project Concern, that donated monetarily to us & other charities to support our mission of creating life-changing opportunities for our members to overcome barriers they face. This committee means the world to Megan; every time we speak, you can see the passion in her eyes & hear it in her voice when she’s telling you what’s next for Project Concern. Project Concern also plans a huge Christmas event for children & youth & invites us to send many of our members every year. They have a wonderful dinner & each get a present. On top of that, she creates light-hearted & fun social media posts for HPS that are still educational & create awareness. Another specific example of why she deserves to be recognized happened at another one of our events. She was playing soccer in uniform with some of our youth members & noticed one of the boys was very talented. She spoke with their mom that was present & the mom mentioned she knows how talented her son is, but she unfortunately can’t afford to pay for him to play travel soccer. Megan came to me about this & we, as the charity, offered to pay for the registration fees at a local soccer club. But Megan didn’t stop there… she knew the family didn’t have a vehicle, & with Megan’s son trying out for the same team, Megan offered to pick up & drive the youth member & his mother to try-outs, practices & games. She did this out of the kindness of her heart. After speaking with the boy’s mother, she told me she was blown away by Megan’s generosity & support. I could go on & on about how much of an impact Megan has had & will continue to have in the community, but it would be a short novel at this point. Please vote for Megan. The community needs her to continue changing the narrative between local police, youth & their families.