Police Services Hero Award Winners: 2016-2021

Cst. Jennifer Landry, OPP - 2021 Award Winner

Award: Community Role Model 
Service: Ontario Provincial Police
Year: 2021 

Ontario Provincial Police Constable Jennifer Landry, of the Temiskaming Detachment, was an Indigenous woman and a member of the Matachewan First Nation. As a former constable of the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (NAPS), she was involved extensively in the communities she policed as an officer and citizen. She treated everyone she encountered with respect and dignity including those that she arrested. She was an advocate for violence against women, children and other marginalized and vulnerable citizens. Please note that on October 14, 2020, Cst. Jennifer Landry died tragically while off-duty, leaving behind her 8-year old daughter and her family.

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Cst. William Hall, Peel Regional Police - 2021 Award Winner

Award: Community Role Model 
Service: Peel Regional Police  
Year: 2021  

On Saturday, February 20, 2021, a four-year-old boy was out sledding with his siblings and Dad when an off-leash dog attacked him and dragged him by his face. Cst. William Hall, who was at the park with his own children while off-duty, put himself in harms way to save the boy by jumping on the dog. The young boy was rushed by ambulance to the hospital; but first, he was attended to by Cst. Hall who checked him over and even held a hat on his face placing pressure on the wound. 

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Erin Morrison, Communicator, Peel Regional Police - 2021 Award Winner

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee 
Service: Peel Regional Police 
Year: 2021 

Erin Morrison has been a dispatcher with Peel Regional Police Service for 18 years, and brings a wealth of experience, professionalism and dedication to her role. She is extremely proud of the work she does, and she strives every day to ensure her competence as part of the Police and Emergency services system. Erin’s ability to think on her feet and make important decisions quickly and wisely makes her a leader amongst her peers. She goes above and beyond to create gifts and small reminders of appreciation for her teammates. Often on her own dime - and always on her own time - Erin has made countless Self Care Kits to distribute. She has organized events to raise money for mental health. 

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Sgt. Steven Large, OPP - 2021 Award Winner

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker – Uniform/Sworn Police Officer 
Service: Ontario Provincial Police 
Year: 2021 

On March 10, 2020, Sgt. Steven Large with the Ontario Provincial Police utilized quick thinking to rescue a fisherman who had fallen through the ice into the St. Lawrence River off Landon Bay while ice fishing. Sgt. Large risked his own life by undertaking a precarious water rescue using an available canoe on shore and sliding it across the ice to the fisherman in distress. Officer Large wasn't worried about his safety, rather, just saving this individual and doing his duty. 

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Cst. Fil Wisniak

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker – Uniform/Sworn Police Officer. 
Service: Kingston Police. 
Year: 2020. 

On September 12, 2019, a 22 year old male began stabbing pedestrians at a downtown Kingston intersection. Constable Fil Wisniak - a 10 year veteran of the Kingston Police - was on foot when the call came in. Constable Wisniak responded to the call, running 2 blocks to the incident. Upon his arrival, one man had been fatally stabbed and another man was being attacked. Constable Wisniak intervened without hesitation - the male was about to attack a woman who was attempting to provide aid to one of the victims. 

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Special Constables Michael Bednarek & Susanne Kelly

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee(s). 
Service: Ottawa Police. 
Year: 2020. 

On June 12, 2019, Special Constable Bednarek and Special Constable Kelly were driving westbound on Laurier Avenue in Ottawa, returning to the Courthouse. They were waived down by frantic pedestrians as a suicidal male had climbed over the railing of the bridge on Laurier and began wrapping an extension cord around his neck - the other end of the cord had been tied off to the bridge. Both Special Constables exited their work vehicle and ran toward the suicidal male. 

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Cst. Evan Harrison

Award: Community Role Model. 
Service: London Police. 
Year: 2020. 

Cst. Evan Harrison was nominated by various community members in the London area for his positive impact as a School Resource Officer and his volunteer work with kids in the London community, notably at The Children’s Hospital and as a non-parent coach in a local minor hockey league. Below are a few excerpts: 

I’m nominating Constable Harrison for this award for many reasons. His display of commitment, compassion and kindness only scratch the surface. Through his role as School Resource Officer, Cst. Harrison has developed such strong connections with my students, making each one feel special and valued in their own unique way. His dedication and determination to always make the world around him a better place is so inspiring for the younger generation to watch and learn from. It is truly evident that Officer Harrison was made for this job. The London Police Service and all of the schools he works with are so lucky to have such a stand up hero working alongside them. Thank you Constable Harrison for making such an impactful difference. 

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Dispatcher Mylène Lacroix

Nominated for making a difference locally as a 911 dispatcher, and for making Cornwall and communities she visits on her missions to Uganda a better place through charitable and fundraising efforts

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker - Civilian Police Service Employee
Service: Cornwall Police
Year: 2019

As if she didn’t have enough going on already between her charitable efforts and her work as a 911 dispatcher, Mylène has begun serving her fellow Police Association membership by getting elected as Treasurer of the Cornwall Police Association Board. Mylène consistently completes the kindest of deeds for her community, such as knitting warm clothing and donating to the less fortunate, and abroad with mission trips to Uganda with her initiative called “Project Under Things”...

 

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Durham Regional Police Service K9 Unit

Nominated as a team for their fundraising efforts for local charities through the production and sales of calendars featuring Durham regional police service dogs; One of the K9’s will be in attendance

Award: Community Role Model
Service: Durham Regional Police
Year: 2019

DRPS K9 Unit team members include Detective Cst. Wayne King, Cst. Wes King, Cst. Bryan Armstrong, Cst. Jeff Burns, Cst. Corby Wright, Cst. Kevin Dunlop, Cst. Jay Dickson, and Cst. Adam Handscomb.

2019 will be the team’s 5th year producing and selling their calendars. Over the last 4 years, the DRPS K9 Unit has raised and donated more than $150,000 to many local Durham Regional charities – they choose 3 charities per year. Every year, the calendar sales and money raised steadily increases. The Unit has volunteered over 500 hours of their time while off-duty to sell their annual K9 calendars at local businesses in order to give back to the community...

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Cst. Aaron Reichert

Nominated for his bravery and quick response while in pursuit of a suspect during an active triple shooting incident in the Byward Market.

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker - Uniform Officer
Service: Ottawa Police
Year: 2019

Reichert was patrolling the market just after bars closed in June 2017. In an unrelated event, he saw three men carrying a street sign and approached them when he heard a single gunshot in the area of Dalhousie and Murray streets. By the time Aaron arrived to the scene, he saw a group of men chasing the suspect on foot. Cst. Reichert got back in his vehicle, pursuing the group, who indicated to him that this person had just shot their friend...

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Constable Elizabeth Skelding

Just before midnight on April 28, 2015, Constable Elizabeth Skelding responded to a domestic abuse call in progress at a house in Cambridge, Ontario. As her police cruiser approached, a female started coming down the driveway, with a male following close behind wielding a knife.

Award: On-Duty Difference Maker
Service: Waterloo Regional Police
Year: 2018

Just before midnight on April 28, 2015, Constable Elizabeth Skelding responded to a domestic abuse call in progress at a house in Cambridge, Ontario. As her police cruiser approached, a female started coming down the driveway, with a male following close behind wielding a knife. Due to the proximity between the two, Officer Skelding first attempted to manually disarm the male as the use of her gun could have harmed the victim. In the ensuing struggle, the male stabbed Officer Skelding and continued towards his ex-girlfriend. Officer Skelding drew her weapon and shot the male to stop him from inflicting further injury to the victim or herself. While she was bleeding, Officer Skelding kept her gun on him until other officers arrived on the scene. Constable Skelding’s prompt actions saved the woman’s life.


Constable Amy Finn

Cst. Amy Finn has been with the Chatham-Kent police service for the past 30 years, and was the first female officer ever hired by the force. She received numerous nominations from people throughout the Chatham-Kent community praising her efforts to make the town a better place to live.

Award: Community Role Model
Service: Chatham-Kent Police 
Year: 2018

Cst. Amy Finn has been with the Chatham-Kent police service for the past 30 years, and was the first female officer ever hired by the force. She received numerous nominations from people throughout the Chatham-Kent community praising her efforts to make the town a better place to live. She is a tireless volunteer for local initiatives such as soup kitchens, Goodfellows’ No Child Without Christmas drive, Cops for Cancer (for which she shaved her head), and so much more. She also takes a passion for instilling positive life values in the youth of Chatham-Kent, and many nominations credited Amy's dedication to helping them through challenging times as the reason they've become the upstanding people they are today. It is clear the people of Chatham-Kent are very proud to call Amy an active member of their community, both on and off duty. Though Constable Finn is soon retiring from service, her significant impact on the community will very much continue.


Cst. Cealia Gagnon

Award: Community Role Model
Service: Windsor Police Service
Year: 2017

Cealia has a strong passion for dedicating her time to bettering the community of Windsor. Recently, Cealia spent countless hours coaching for The Special Olympics and also developed the powerlifting program for her team. She is very involved in the Youth initiative program at Border City Boxing where she assists underprivileged youths with their boxing skills. She also spends a great deal of time collecting clothing and various household items for The Neighbourhood Renewal program. These are just a few areas where Cealia dedicates her time. Most nights she can be found assisting with various events across Windsor in hopes of a better future for our community.


Det. Cst. Ryan Johnson

Award: On-duty Difference Maker
Service: Greater Sudbury Police Service
Year: 2017

In February of 2016, Det. Cst Ryan Johnson came upon a distraught female who was sitting on the ledge of the Bridge of Nations in Sudbury, contemplating suicide. Det. Cst Johnson, showing the utmost empathy and compassion, spoke with the female…calming her down and building a rapport with her. When the opportunity presented itself, Det. Cst Johnson sprung in to action and grabbed the girl off the ledge, risking his own life to save this stranger. This is the exact definition of a hero. What was just as impressive was how humble Det. Cst Johnson was in the days to follow when answering to media about the experience.


Constable Phil Sheldon

Award: In the Line of Duty
Service: Niagara Regional Police
Year: 2016

Constable Phil Sheldon attended to a murder suicide in progress and was severely wounded during the incident as a result of his heroic actions.

Read the St. Catharine Standard Story


Constable Patrick Rawn

Award: In the Line of Duty
Service: Owen Sound
Year: 2016

Patrick Rawn was the acting Sergeant for his platoon on the morning of August 10, 2016, when Owen Sound came alive to a multitude of calls for fire and police services in the residential area of the city’s east side. Patrick showed calm, leadership in a storm of chaos and fear, bravely pulling people from burning buildings and assisting any way he could to keep residents safe and out of harm’s way.


Special Constable Sharon Williamson

Award: In the Community
Service: Hamilton Police Service
Year: 2016

Sharon Williamson, a Special Constable with the Hamilton Police Service, donates her time to bring attention to the homeless in her city. She raises money and provides some of the common necessities of life that people take for granted to ensure that Hamilton’s homeless feel a sense of worth.

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