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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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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