February 23, 2018 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) is launching the 3rd Annual Police Services Hero of the Year Award starting today, February 22. Ontarians are encouraged to submit a nomination/story over the next six weeks to PoliceHero.ca about how their police services hero went above and beyond the call of duty during a specific event, or why they should be recognized for their ongoing support and commitment to their community.
The Police Services of the Year Award began in 2016 based on feedback from local communities. PAO President, Bruce Chapman, says the PAO has heard from the public that they are amazed by what police officers’ jobs can involve everyday, but often the direct impact on lower crime rates and public safety can be forgotten.
“Every day, police officers put their lives on the line for the communities they serve, and every day civilian police service employees assist members of their communities during challenging situations,” says Chapman. “Sometimes the fact that these police service personnel are regular people can slip our minds – they are mothers, fathers, and neighbours that go to work just like everyone else. Often, they end up doing some incredible things on the job, and we would like to recognize and highlight those stories.”
Acknowledging the extraordinary efforts made by a police service professional during seemingly routine days at work serves as a vital reminder about the importance of police officers in our communities. In 2017, Det. Cst. Ryan Johnson won the On-Duty Difference Maker Award for risking his life to save someone contemplating suicide from jumping off a bridge near Sudbury. Additionally, Cst. Cealia Gagnon won the Community Role Award for the various ways she dedicates her time to supporting under-privileged youth and bettering the community of Windsor.
The campaign encourages Ontarians to submit their nominations either by a nomination form found PoliceHero.ca, or through PAO’s Facebook page or Twitter account. PAO welcomes nominations in written, video and voice recorded formats.
Bruce Chapman, PAO President Stephen Reid, PAO Executive Director
Founded in 1933, the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) is the official voice and representative body for Ontario's front-line police personnel, and provides representation, resource and support for 53 police associations.