From the heroic efforts by citizens who lifted a car off a trapped man, to complex work to prevent a youth from being sexually exploited – efforts by Delta Police officers and citizens were showcased in a long-awaited awards ceremony after two years on Oct. 28.
DPD officers and their families, Police Board members, Delta Police Foundation representatives and guests, gathered Thursday at Tsawwassen Springs to celebrate these, and other achievements.
The event adhered to all COVID protocols.
“It was a very moving evening, being able to gather to honour some of the incredible work being done, not just by our officers, but also by our own Delta citizens,” said Chief Neil Dubord. “Many of the awards celebrated work that was literally life-saving or life changing.”
One award acknowledged the importance of the skills officers can bring with them when they join DPD.
Const. Steve Vickery came to DPD as a mature recruit, with years of paramedic experience. In September 2020, he answered the call when Emergency Health Services asked for police to assist with an aggressive man.
Vickery noted the man seemed extremely confused, with abnormal and slurred speech and had difficulty performing basic tasks, so he told the BC Ambulance crew that the male could be suffering from a brain bleed. The male refused medical assistance, however Vickery was able to apprehend him under the Mental Health Act and he was taken to hospital.
The man later contacted Vickery to thank him and share that his diagnosis of an intracranial hemorrhage was correct and he had required immediate life-saving neurosurgery. Vickery was awarded a Deputy Chief Constable Commendation.
“Through the course of our work, often the goal of police isn’t to take enforcement action but instead is focused on putting supports in place for the victim, or preventing victimization,” said Dubord of two Superintendent Commendations that were awarded.
The first was for officers who successfully intervened with an underage, at-risk victim being sexually exploited, who has now turned her life around. The second acknowledged the work of officers who helped send a 16-year-old being groomed for child exploitation back to her family outside of Canada.
“These are investigations that we can’t necessarily share with the community, in order to protect the privacy of those involved, so it’s very meaningful to acknowledge our officers work in this manner,” added Dubord. “Working with at-risk youths and children is incredibly important but also very time consuming, and I want to also acknowledge the partnerships we have with the Delta School District and other social services supports.”
DPD only recently welcomed volunteers back to its Community Police Offices, but one volunteer remained very active during the pandemic.
In 2019, the Community Police Offices initiated the “Keep In Touch” program and Mary-Lynn G’froerer volunteered to be the coordinator. This program offers support to seniors living in the community with limited or no family support.
Volunteers regularly make phone contact, to check-in on the health and wellness of the participants. Since March of 2020, despite the offices being closed G’froerer has continued this program on her own. For her extraordinary commitment to the community of Delta, G’froerer was awarded the Delta Police Volunteer of the Year award.
Chief Constable Commendations are the highest level of award presented by the Delta Police.
On the afternoon of Jan. 28, 2019, Const. Jason Martens was involved in the search for a homicide suspect from the United States. Martens was tenacious in getting updated information from his American counterparts and learned the suspect was making phone calls from a phone located at Peace Arch Hospital.
Containment was set up at the hospital and, upon arriving, Martens observed the suspect inside the front entrance. The suspect began to run through the busy hospital emergency department while being pursued by Martens and an RCMP member. The suspect surrendered and a loaded handgun was located in his waistband.
For his courage and tenacity, while considering the risk to public safety. Martens was awarded a Chief Constable Commendation.
Following is the full list of awards presented:
Delta Police Outstanding Citizen Award
Submerged Vehicle Rescue - Hendrik Van Beek
Pinned Victim Rescue - Harsharan Singh, Abhayjeet Singh, Garry Bansal, Inderpreet Sekhon, Josh Gibson, Logan Gain, Carey Griffin and Aileen Noguer
Community Engagement Award
THIS (The Harmony Initiative Society) Founders: Warren Dean-Flandez and Geeta Schallig
Volunteer of the Year Award
Patrol Officer of the year
Const. Paul Uppal
Outstanding Police Staff of the year
Chief Constable Commendations
Arrest of American homicide suspect: Const. Jason Martens
Extraordinary effort arresting fleeing homicide suspect: Const. Aaron McRae and Const. Chris Cottrill.
Fire Evacuation - Ladner: Const. Jaskaran Dhillon, Const. Grayson Hawkings and Const. Scott McClure
Suicidal Man with Knife: Const. Cameron Wilson and Const. Hilary Ferguson
Submerged Vehicle Rescue: Const. Jacob Nolan
Alex Fraser Bridge Suicide Attempt: Const. Jake Primeau and name withheld.
Deputy Chief Constable Commendations
Unit Citation - Criminal Harassment Investigation: S/Sgt. Dave Vaughan-Smith; Sgt. Dan McLean, Sgt. James Sandberg, name withheld X2, Const. Mike Clark, Const. Dustin Classen, Kristin Vaughan-Smith Victim Services Assistant Coordinator and Shelene Rail (Crown Counsel)
Unit Citation - Arson Investigation: Sgt. James Sandberg, Sgt. Dan McLean, Sgt. Gary Koonar, Const. Christina Bruce, (name withheld), Const. Dustin Classen, Const. Mike Clark, and Const. Emily Wawruck
Fraser River Suicide Attempt: Const. Catherine Fiddick and Const. Sandy Sernoski
Lifesaving Apprehension of Person Suffering From Brain Bleed: Const. Steven Vickery
CPR on overdosed passenger: Const. Harry Dhillon
Suicidal Youth on Alex Fraser Bridge: Const. Jaskaran Dhillon
Quicksand Rescue: Const. Grayson Hawkings and Const. Joel Thirsk
Unit Citation - Delta Police COVID Response Team: DC Harj Sidhu, Insp. Craig New, Insp. Kim Campbell, Insp. Ciaran Feenan, Insp. Ryan Hall, Insp. Mo Parry, A/S/Sgt. Jason Formby, Sgt. Jim Ingram, Const. Karrie Graham, Katie Vales, Andrea Peterson, Hilary Madore and Elaine Alger (City)
Unit Citation – Successful Intervention with At-Risk Victim: Sgt. Richard Stabler, A/Sgt. Brittney Dawson, Const. Kristine Pemberton, Const. Mike Grandia and Danica Payne (Child & Youth care worker)
Unit Citation - Victim As Agent: Sgt. Gwen Vaughan-Smith; Sgt. Richard Stabler, A/Sgt. Brittney Dawson, name withheld X2, Const. Aaron Pante and Const. Ryan Labrosse
Unit Citation - Intervention Of International At-Risk Victim: Const. Kathy Bauman Const. Sandy Sernoski, and Const. Kristine Pemberton
Unit Citation - Burnsview Secondary Stabbing: Sgt. Raman Athwal, Const. Bianca Boyce, Const. Kevin Hilliard, Const. Nathan Porter, Const. Kathy Bauman, Const. Nav Bring, Const. Ganesh Krishnan, Const. Kristine Pemberton, Const. Mike Grandia, Const. Matt Rancourt, Const. Jaspreet Sahota, Const. Michael Santos and Const. Chris Ward
Health IM Project: Sgt. James Sandberg
Drone Program Implementation: Sgt. Jim IngramMeritorious Service - Major Case Assistant: Kim Henke