Staff Sargeant Armstrong is a relentless supporter of MANY community events, fundraisers and awareness campaigns. He is also a representative of Special Olympics Ontario in many capacities including the Torch Run, Torch Ride, Polar Bear Plunge and many other local events. The list goes on with too many involvements to list.
I would like to nominate my step-daughter, Constable Cynthia Martin, who is a strong, courageous, loving individual with a heart of gold. As well as balancing her career and family including three young children, she faces every challenge in her daily life with strong determination. She is solidly committed to ensuring everyone is treated with fairness and respect while performing her duties with the Waterloo Regional Police Service, and with everyone else she comes in contact with on a daily basis. She is well known and highly respected by her professional colleagues as well as an involved and well liked member of the indigenous community. She is a survivor of breast cancer having been diagnosed with the disease during her last pregnancy two years ago. She continues to be a pillar of strength not only to her family, but to her friends and colleagues who respect and admire her and her determination to enjoy life to its fullest. Cynthia is an inspiration to all and she is my hero!
After a WWII veteran had all his medal from the war stolen, Cst. Kevin DeClark went to the Royal Canadian Legion on his own time to get duplicates, had a casing made and got a plaque from Source for Sports so this veteran could have his medals. It is such a touching story - and thank you Cst. DeClark for going above and beyond for this - you are a hero - and you helped another Woodstock hero!
(Photo courtesy of CTV news)
Cst. Patti Costa is the type to never shy away from an opportunity to give back to the community. Between Special Olympics, Torch Run, and other various organizations, Cst. Patti Costa is always first to donate her time with her infectious positive attitude and warm, welcoming smile. Cst. Patti Costa continues to challenge herself at work, always seeking opportunities to expand her scope of knowledge throughout her 10+ year career with London Police Service; Patti's most recent accomplishment was landing a position on LPS' Public Order Unit. I believe Cst. Patti Costa deserves a nomination, not only for her position with London Police Service, but for her ongoing work with Fanshawe College's Police Foundation Program, where she continues to offer her own practical experiences, and hands-on knowledge for the students. For everything you do, thank you Cst. Costa.
Raymond and I were out grouse hunting when I had a serious accident which left me with three busted ribs and my teeth knocked out. Due to his training and profession as a police officer he jumped into action and got me out of a very bad life and death situation. Four hours later he got me home - even though it was only twenty minutes away. I was then transported to the hospital with my distraught wife. Ray gave my wife his phone number and told her when she was ready to come home no matter what time, he would pick her up. As far as I am concerned he went way beyond the call of duty and I thank him once again. PS. This happened three years ago.
Photo courtesy of Arron Pickard, Sudbury.com
I would like to nominate my great pal and comrade, Constable Kevin VanRooyen as Ontario's Police Service Hero of the Year! Kevin and I are both officers with the Strathroy-Caradoc Police Service and have worked together for 6 years. Both Kevin and are former members of the London Police Service as well, however, we have only worked together in Strathroy. When I learned about the PAO's Hero of the Year award, I couldn't wait to get to the keyboard to tell you about my buddy "Vaner". In my 17 years of policing, I have never been so blessed and fortunate to work with a better partner. Kevin inspires me every day to be a better police officer, a better colleague and a better person. Although Kevin has been a policeman in Ontario for 28 years, he turns up everyday ready to give all he has for the people of his community and for his police service.
I have been proud to know and work with Neal Ridley since 2010. I met Neal as a School Resource Officer at the St. Catharines Collegiate. Neal was a mentor and proactive constable who did amazing work with our students. He was always there for a students both on duty and when he could off duty. Neal is a police hero for many reasons. Here are some of my examples. Neal came in to the school on his day off to assist a young lady who was having her child apprehended by Family and Children's Services. Neal said to us if the apprehension happens on his day off, he would come in and assist the young lady so she did not react poorly and get arrested. Another incident was when Neal pursued a wanted teenager throughout the neighbourhood. He made sure the community was safe and pursued the teen for about an hour after he was injured at the beginning of the chase. The teen presented a safety risk and Neal did not give up in spite of his serious leg injury that occurred during the chase.
I nominate Officer Todd Bennett of Belleville Police, a year ago my 4 year old daughter starting recognizing emergency vehicles when we went for walks, each time a police vehicle would pass her she would wave, many officers did not wave back which discouraged her, except for Officer Todd Bennett! We were walking home one day and he passed us in the cruiser. My daughter waved and he gave a big wave back! She was over the moon Happy! Then we noticed him reversing and he called us over to his vehicle, he told my daughter how nice it was of her to wave to the police and that they appreciate it more then she knew! He offered her a small teddy bear named Finn whom she takes with her everywhere! His small gesture of kindness while on duty shows that there is still love and compassion and caring with humanity! He has left a lasting impression on my daughter that she has shared with so many others! Thank you Officer Todd Bennett! Your care and kindness as an officer and a human being go above and beyond!
I would like to nominate Amy Finn. This amazing woman is a single mother who works hard to take care of her 4 boys. Amy is always cheerful and kind to everyone she meets. She can always be found helping out the community with toy drives, food banks, raising money for cancer etc... No matter what walks of life people come from, she will always show them respect and honours her duty to serve and protect her community. What an honour to call her my friend and mentor.
Photo courtesy of Chatham Kent news
I nominate Lana, my sister, for multiple reasons but mostly because she is so proud to serve as an officer of the law. She approaches every call with passion, dedication and at times, empathy. Her patience combined with her smarts have enabled her to be an amazing officer, mother, wife and sister.