Kyle Dodds, Belleville Police Service – 2023 Award Winner

Award: Extra Mile
Service:  Belleville Police Service
Year: 2023

Kyle goes above and beyond to support his community and is committed to tackling human and sex trafficking in his community, including regularly conducting safety checks in local hotels. He understands the role that a police officer can play when assisting individuals with mental health issues and works to ensure their safety in times of crisis and that they receive the help they require.

Sergeant Melanie Jefferies, Kingston Police – 2023 Award Winner

Award: Police Hero Honour Roll
Service:  Kingston Police
Year: 2023

A victim of Richard Joyce, a serial kidnapper accused of sexual assault and murder in the 1990s, met Sergeant Melanie Jefferies in 2011 when they reported their experience. For 20 years, the victim was committed to keeping her kidnapping a secret, convinced that no one would believe her, however her disclosure to Sergeant Melanie Jefferies rerouted her life and recovery and she now puts her pain to purpose, speaking publicly to empower others.   

In 2022, the victim got word that Joyce was seeking escorted passes out of prison. The victim was concerned and reached out to Sergeant Jefferies, who was incredibly supportive and listened attentively to their concerns. She went beyond her role by personally calling them to provide advice and support. Sergeant Jefferies even offered to attend the parole board hearing, eleven years after she worked diligently to achieve a conviction.

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Anonymous Police Hero in Ontario – 2023 Award Winner

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker (Uniform)
Service:  Police service in Ontario
Year: 2023

This hero’s quick thinking on the job protected community members from harm. While they show their courage every day, this hero says it isn’t an act of going above and beyond, but a regular part of serving.

Glen Sonier, Sudbury Police – 2023 Award Winner

Award:  On-Duty Difference Maker (Civilian)
Service:  Sudbury Police
Year: 2023

Glen has always been calm, professional and compassionate while dispatching on air. While always mindful of officer safety, he is still able to convey his great sense of humour and his colleagues feel that his presence makes shifts more enjoyable. Glen is also a great supporter of Movember, by raising funds for prostate cancer.

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James Durka, Hamilton Police Service – 2023 Award Winner

Award:  Community Role Model
Service:  Hamilton Police Service
Year: 2023

James Durka has been a police officer with the Hamilton Police Service for 20 years. He is a role model in this community both on and off duty. Six years ago, James’ wife, Jessica, was diagnosed with cancer. He took care of his wife until recovery while continuing to perform his duty as a detective for the Hamilton Police Service.

When Jessica’s cancer was in remission, the couple decided to pay it forward by growing pumpkins at her family farm in Waterford and selling them at a roadside market they titled the Juravinski Cancer Centre Pumpkin Patch. For the last five years, James has spent countless hours on this project and recruits fellow police officers on their days off to assist with the annual pumpkin picking. Together James and Jessica have raised $245,000 for the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton.

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Cst. Graham MacGregor, Ontario Provincial Police - 2022 Award Winner

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker – Uniform/Sworn Police Officer 
Service: Ontario Provincial Police 
Year: 2022

Graham is described as compassionate, kind and as one of the good guys by his many nominators. Graham was chosen as the winner because of the assistance he provided a woman with an active addiction and PTSD. She didn’t have much faith in the policing system, but according to her, he changed that. She says that if not for him, she wouldn’t have a one-year sobriety key tag. This woman was a survivor of human trafficking and an addict who had crashed her vehicle into a tree. Graham treated her with respect and dignity, even though she had to be charged with careless driving and had a carload of drug paraphernalia. He connected her with Victim Services and with resources he thought could help her. The way that Graham treated her changed her life. He continues to check in with her. Not only is she doing well, but she is using her experience to help other victims move forward. Graham is a prime example of being a uniformed difference maker.  


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Megan Petzel, Thunder Bay Police Service - 2022 Award Winner

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee 
Service: Thunder Bay Police Service
Year: 2022 

Megan is a Communications Supervisor for Thunder Bay Police Service. She is also someone so deserving of any recognition; especially one at this level. She is known for going above and beyond for her team, officers and the public. Megan was nominated for and won for a call that she and her team handled in which a young teenage girl was in town for school. The teen had dialled 911 and had absolutely no idea where she was, or how long she had been outside in -20 degree winter weather.  

It was not known at the time that the girl had suffered from epilepsy and she had just come-to out of a seizure. She was extremely disoriented.   

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Sergeant Brad Adams, Hamilton Police Service - 2022 Award Winner

Award: Community Role Model 
Service: Hamilton Police Service
Year: 2022

After Brad's wife Shannon was diagnosed with plasma cell leukaemia, the family not only raised awareness for stem cell and blood donations, but they also raised $50,000 for the Juravinski hospital in Hamilton. Brad rode over 200 km on horseback through the Norfolk and Haldimand Counties in the Ride for the Registry, with incredible support from the community. Sadly, Shannon lost her battle to the horrible disease. Brad and his young daughters know that she would be proud of the work they have done and they people they have helped through stem cell donations.  

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Brendan Johnston, Lindsay Police Service

Sergeant Brendan Johnston is my Police Hero. When my husband Constable Mike Broderick #71 died by suicide on November 5, 2021, it hit all of us really hard including myself, our family, our community and the Kawartha Lakes Police Service family. My husband was a very well liked man who was very respected by all who knew him. Much like Sergeant Brendan Johnston, my husband had become very close over the years and confided and looked up to Brendan just like a lot of the other staff of the Kawartha Lakes Police Service. He is that person that everyone seems to go to and for everyone that knows Brendan, he would do anything in his power to help. There is something to say about Brendan's character. He is smart, kind, down to earth, respectful as much as he is respected by others, thoughtful, past president of the Kawartha Lakes Police Association and now still part of the Police Association of Kawartha Lakes, and he goes above and beyond. Speaking of going above and beyond, this is what brings me to nominating Sergeant Brendan Johnston for this specific Police Hero Award. He stands out. Brendan helped search for my husband when I was worried that day. I knew in my heart something horrible happened and Brendan was honest with me and did what he needed to do on his end. He was not working that day but dropped everything and went to work and started a search for my husband while dealing with me on the side, with kindred perfection. Unfortunately, the outcome was not what we all wished for and again along with the Chief, President of the Police Association of Kawartha Lakes, and Brendan had the unthinkable task of coming to my door that night to tell me that my husband was gone. Then we all drove together to tell his mother and support her in any way. Sergeant Brendan Johnston has shown me and my family so much support. Phone calls/texts to check up on us, he organized for him and a few other officers to come and put up my Outdoor Christmas Lights, and when I wanted to come see my husbands "Memorial Wall" the fellow officers/staff had created Brendan took it upon himself to offer his free time and be there for me and my family members to take us in to see the "Memorial Wall" at different times. Please note as well that the "Memorial Wall" had such significance because it was also the place where my husband died. Knowing this, Brendan reached out to a specialist and talked to him about the family coming in and how to best explain and manage taking us all in to see it. He personally, arranged for Victim Services to be there present again and sat me down and we had about a half hour conversation about what to expect, the specialist said not to be in there for too long for example and Brendan really went out of his way to make sure we would all be okay. Sergeant Brendan Johnston still continues to check on myself and my family. I honestly don't know what I would have done without his help and support during all of this, and being mindful that he was really close with my husband and I know this tragic death has affected him as well. He put his own needs aside and helped a family in need. Sergeant Brendan Johnston is my Police Hero.

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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