2022 Nominees

Pedro Bernardo, York Regional Police Service

February 22, 2021 was my first day back to work after a very short three-month maternity leave. I was already anxious when I left the house with my son William to go to my office to pick up my laptop. I left the house at around 5:00 am, full of thoughts of “can I do this?” and “am I a bad mum?”... and then the snow storm hit. By this point, I was closer to civilization and plowed roads, so I decided to keep going because at least I’d be in well travelled areas. Although dicey, and only going 40km/h at times, I made it to work and one of my colleagues delivered my things to me outside as I was not permitted in the building per COVID protocols.

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Michael Brady, Ontario Provincial Police

I am nominating PC Brady because he has been a role model in our community for almost 50 years now as a Police Officer. He retired from Midland Police Service as a Sergeant in 2001, he was known by everyone in town and everyone knew him. He was constantly walking the beat in downtown Midland, forming lasting relationships with everyone in our community. He then came Back as a Constable with the OPP, and brought his relationships with members of our community with him, and retired for a second time in 2018, He has since come back to the road as a Part Time Officer, and is about to celebrate his 50th year as a Police Officer. He is always a pleasure to have in the office as he is always upbeat and his positive attitude is infectious. I believe that PC Brady deserves this award as he has impacted this community for the past 50 years and continues to do so with a smile on his face.

Nolan Di Diomete, Waterloo Regional Police Service

In the early morning hours of January 28, 2022, Cst. Nolan Di Diomete was on uniform patrol in the City of Kitchener. He was passing nearby a local 'Better Tent City', an encampment for members of the community experiencing homelessness, which included 42 wooden structures. Cst. Di Diomete observed clouds of smoke coming from one of the small structures. Slowing to investigate, he heard a woman's cry for help. Stopping his cruiser at the side of busy Highway 7, Cst. Di Diomete ran towards the disturbance, having to scale over a tall barb-wired fence. The spikes from the fence punctured his hands and legs.

Cst. Di Diomete ran to one dwelling unit fully engulfed in flames. He called for back-up, EMS and the fire department, and began loudly knocking on doors to evacuate residents. Fortunately, no residents suffered any injury. Cst. Di Diomete received treatment at hospital. His quick actions were simply heroic. Had Cst. Di Diomete not taken swift action that night, it could have been tragic. He has since remained modest and typically embarrassed by any attention. In an interview with local media, he expressed his belief in the resolve of his community to come together and help residents rebuild and sustain, together.

Andrew Evans, Saugeen Shores Police Service

Sgt. Andrew Evans has always been a community role model, on and off duty. He is always is looking to help better his community by volunteering, mentoring or donating. He also gives back to his second community in Nicaragua. Sgt. Evans has also personally helped me get into the first responders field and I couldn't be more grateful. He is always looking to help someone out.

Matthew Koopman, Ontario Provincial Police

Matthew Koopman of the Oxford OPP is a kind hearted, dedicated and loving gentleman. He is dedicated to his job and has the biggest heart. I have never had to deal with the police much in my life, but the day that I did have to was very hard for me. I was broken and a mess, and Matt was the man to arrive to speak with me. He provided so much compassion and did everything he could to help me. I felt listened to, believed and understood. Matt is an exceptional officer and deserves all the recognition. I will never forget the impact Matt had on my life that day. Thank you so much Matthew!

Angela Mitchell, Guelph Police Service

In October 2018, I was employed with the Ministry of the Attorney General as a Court Service Officer with the Superior Court of Justice in Guelph. On the 22nd, I walked approximately 1km from parking into work. I entered the security office where I met Special Constable Angela Mitchell of the Guelph Police Service. Angela asked if I was having a problem with breathing. Even though I was having difficulty with shortness of breath as well redness in my face, I denied any problems. Angela insisted on me explaining what seemed apparent to her. I was in medical distress. She contacted the supervisor of courts with her concerns and advised the supervisor not to allow me to work the shift and that she would be taking me to the hospital. I was immediately admitted and was informed that I was having a heart attack. I was sent to St. Mary hospital for a double bypass. I would never have gone to the hospital on my own. Angela save my life. I never acknowledged to anyone or even myself that almost died and I have Angela to thank for me being able to live and enjoy the five grandchildren I have had since that day.

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Rob Panek, Guelph Police Service

I never thought I would be in a situation where I needed to call the police, but last year in early April, I did. And the officer who responded to my call was Officer Rob Panek of the Guelph Police Service. I was feeling a lot of emotions that day and Rob was amazing, trying to keep me calm and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. It didn't feel like it at that time, but he was right. There were several phone calls and emails between Rob and I, dealing with my case and every time, he was attentive, detailed and professional. I truly think Rob deserves this award because without him helping me navigate through the court system over the last year, I am not sure if I would have made it. Thank you, Rob, for all you did for me and for being a voice of reason in a very stressful situation.

Cst. Korissa Williams & Cst. Sonia Naccarato, Peel Regional Police Service

Cst. Korissa Williams and her partner Cst. Sonia Naccarato from the Peel Regional Police Divisional Mobilization Unit were invited to attend the Clock Tower lighting program at Brampton City Hall in recognition of Crime Stoppers month (January 22, 2022 at 5:00 pm). During this time, an elderly citizen in a wheelchair became stranded along the snow-covered sidewalk. Both officers jumped into action to help free the individual to safety. 

Kerry Lucas, Ontario Provincial Police

Kerry Lucas is a member of the OPP and is assigned to the child sexual exploitation unit as an administrator. As everyone knows, it’s the staff who run the daily operations of a unit. Kerry looks after a unit that covers the province of Ontario, looking for people who prey on children. Kerry always goes above and beyond in supporting the unit. She truly is a super hero without a cape.

Kevin Webb, Ontario Provincial Police

I believe this nominee deserves to win the Police Services Hero of the Year award due to absolute dedication to the job 24/7, 365 days a year, an abundance of knowledge for which he shared on a day-to-day basis with colleagues, his compassionate nature, and his ability to connect with the public. Kevin Webb did not wear the badge for a sense of power, he wore it to make a difference in the community, to protect members of the community, and ultimately demonstrate the real meaning of policing. Throughout the years of his career, Kevin was able to make connections with various organizations outside of the OPP and took greatly to the idea of community involvement. Only one of many times Kevin has given back to the community with no instruction nor asking for anything in return is when he donated toys to a toy drive on his own accord.

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