The Surrey Board of Trade is proud to announce the finalists for the 23rd Annual Surrey Police Officer of the Year Awards. Winners in the eight categories below will be announced at the gala event taking place on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey (15269 104 Avenue) from 6:00-9:30pm. Tickets are $105 + tax each. Thank you to Co-Presenting Sponsor: Hamilton Duncan, Supporting Sponsor: Tim Hortons, and Media Sponsors: CBC Vancouver, the Surrey NOW-Leader and BCBusiness.
The Surrey RCMP along with Surrey’s Auxiliary, civilian employees and volunteers will join members of Surrey’s business community to celebrate those individuals who have been chosen by their peers and the public to receive the Police Officer of the Year Awards. Over 50 nominations were received. Nominees were judged based on their innovation, commitment, contribution and perseverance.
“The Surrey Board of Trade looks forward to celebrating the hard work of our Surrey RCMP, their collaborative partners and teams,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “I especially look forward to hearing the audience address by the Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge, Dwayne McDonald, this year.”
“The Surrey Board of Trade has enjoyed an ongoing collaborative partnership with the Surrey RCMP over these 23 years. This event really started that partnership of community safety with the business community – obtaining feedback on the Surrey Board of Trade’s education, projects and government advocacy from local, provincial to federal issues.”
The event will continue to support the RCMP Youth Academy. A donation to this program will be made as a result of this event.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit businessinsurrey.com or call 604.581.7130.
The 2019 Finalists are:
POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD – NOMINATED BY COMMUNITY
- Corporal Bob Keay
Corporal Bob Keay, as the Newton Community Response Commander, chairs the Newton Integrated Services Team, and is on the City’s Sustainability Newton Project Team. Corporal Keay is part of the working group to tackle recovery homes in Surrey, a strategic group that includes RCMP, Bylaw Enforcement, Provincial Assisted Living Registry, Probation, and Crown Counsel. Vulnerable individuals going through the justice system are placed in a legal, licensed recovery home in Surrey. This was a key factor in helping shut down several illegal recovery homes. Corporal Keay’s team assists Bylaws in conducting inspections of legal recovery homes to ensure they are being operated properly. He also helped spearhead the Social Chronic Action Team, which identifies prolific chronic offenders. Corporal Keay develops innovative, long-term solutions.
- Corporal Elenore Sturko
Corporal Elenore Sturko, as Media Relations Officer with the Surrey RCMP, has a special ability to respond articulately, knowledgably and compassionately to the public and media. She has built strong relationships with local and regional reporters and has become a trusted subject matter expert. She engages regularly with community partners to highlight events, campaigns and programs. Corporal Sturko loves the opportunity to get out and work alongside the members when she is out on location for a story. You can often hear her say, “Let me get the next one!” during media traffic enforcement events. Corporal Sturko’s trademark enthusiasm and sense of humour, coupled with her professionalism and sense of duty have made her an excellent representative for the Surrey RCMP.
- Constable Richard Wright
Constable Wright represents the RCMP at numerous community events including the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic, Pride Flag Raising at Surrey Detachment, Hands Across the Border, Cloverdale Rodeo, Surrey Board of Trade Top 25 Under 25, Surrey Steps Up, and various Safe Schools events. He developed a community engagement event for Fraser Valley Heritage Rail that included a First Responders’ Day. Corporal Wright’s singing talents have been on display with his singing of “God Save the Queen” at the E-Division Changing of the Commanding Officer ceremony, and in a viral video of him singing a duet from the movie Frozen at the Cloverdale Kids Expo. Constable Wright has become an informal mentor to a Surrey youth. He spent a considerable amount of time providing advice to Brahmroop Sandhu, who went on to win the Surrey Board of Trade’s Top 25 under 25 Award in 2019 for his volunteerism and community engagement. He now works for the Canadian Border Services Agency. Brahmroop says Constable Wright’s mentorship changed his life forever.
POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD- NOMINATED BY PEERS
- Constable Karen Baker
Constable Karen Baker worked with Transit Police and the City of Surrey to create a policy for police to obtain CCTV footage of incidents that occurred in Scott Road SkyTrain parking lots. She developed a safety project which was featured by several media outlets to educate commuters on how to lock out auto crime. The City of Surrey adopted the project, which is still in existence today. In 2013, while working General Duty in North Surrey, Constable Baker attended a call for service where a domestic assault was in progress. Upon arrival the subject of complaint attempted to take a young infant as a shield in order to avoid arrest. Constable Baker and her partner acted quickly to intervene and, in the end, she was severely injured and forced into medical rehabilitation. In 2015, Constable Baker was assigned to the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit where she participates in programs such as Big Brothers In-School Mentoring Program, Code Blue and Mini Blue programs, and anti-bullying campaigns.
- Corporal Thomas Boyce
Corporal Thomas Boyce, as a frontline police officer and supervisor, provides training on legislation, investigative techniques, and scenarios to get impaired drivers off the road. Corporal Boyce is a proud member of Alexa’s Team and has inspired other members to qualify for the team as well. He completed a self-directed project on how to improve note-taking for frontline members and is frequently asked to present on a variety of topics to his Watch. Corporal Boyce is often the first one at a call and the last one to leave, always providing direction and making sure everyone is safe. It is unusual to find a member who has committed his entire career to frontline policing, but Corporal Boyce views frontline policing as a specialized unit that constantly strives for excellence.
- Constable Richard Wright
As a School Resource Officer, Constable Richard Wright led the Mini Blue programs at Cougar Creek and Jesse Lee Elementary schools. He participates regularly in the “Next 100 Years” program at Tamanawis Secondary and Beaver Creek Elementary schools. He was the driving force behind the Surrey RCMP’s participation in an anti-bullying bhangra flash mob, which saw 12 officers join hundreds of Surrey students in this safety initiative. He spent considerable time liaising with the organizers, arranging dance rehearsals, and recruiting members and volunteers to participate. Constable Wright has dealt with in-custody arrests, written judicial authorizations, and coached his peers in writing judicial authorizations. Constable Wright has shown a dedication to keep roads safe for all users and pedestrians by referring youth that make poor driving decisions to the detachment’s Restorative Justice program, conducting traffic enforcement in front of elementary schools, and investigating impaired drivers.
ARNOLD SILZER COMMUNITY POLICING INITIATIVE AWARD
- Auto Crime Target Team
The Auto Crime Target Team (ACTT) uses a multi-faceted approach of enforcement, public education and partnerships with volunteer organizations and other agencies. These efforts led Surrey to a 44% reduction in auto theft in the past year. This 6-person ACTT uses surveillance, along with the latest technological advances, to target prolific auto crime offenders identified by crime analysts. ACTT uses forensic evidence to assist with the identification of suspects associated to stolen and victimized vehicles. ACTT uses strategic techniques to both locate and investigate these offenders. In the first six months of 2019, ACTT has made 40 arrests leading to 241 charges, and recovered 162 stolen vehicles and 11 firearms. ACTT also regularly assists the Surrey RCMP Major Crime Unit with surveillance for violent crimes such as homicides, kidnappings, and sexual assaults.
- Serious Crime Unit
The Serious Crime Unit (SCU) has expertise in the response and investigation of kidnappings and associated conspiracies to commit murder or cause grievous bodily harm. Investigations such as these are extremely dynamic in nature and require a multi-faceted and multi-agency response to ensure the safe recovery of the victims. Employing what is known as the “kidnapping protocol”, SCU effectively implements cutting-edge investigative strategies to identify and locate suspects to save the lives of those who have been kidnapped. Using sophisticated crime analytics, electronic surveillance, covert assets and techniques, SCU is adept at quickly closing in on suspects, preserving evidence and successfully prosecuting those responsible.
- Surrey Gang Enforcement Team
The Surrey Gang Enforcement Team (SGET) reduces gang violence by using a variety of evidence-based enforcement strategies, and community engagement with youth and at-risk individuals. This unique, problem-solving approach empowers youth to avoid gang recruitment while simultaneously disrupting individuals currently engaged in gang-related crime. In 2018, SGET developed a new community program called the Inadmissible Patrons Program. This program deters violent crime by removing individuals from participating establishments if their lifestyle, associations and activities pose a risk to public safety. This program also empowers local business owners and employees by providing an active solution to combatting gang violence. SGET is involved in over 1,000 investigations a year that result in a large volume of criminal charges, and seizures of vehicles, firearms and thousands of dollars in illicit drugs and illegal currency. SGET is helping to drive down drug trafficking and violent crime related to gang activity.
POLICE AND BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP AWARD
- Guildford Town Centre
Guildford Town Centre (GTC) management works extremely close with the Surrey RCMP. They employ 24/7 security who have regular meetings with the local Surrey RCMP District Commander to make sure the police are up to date on any public safety issues. GTC is instrumental in the RCMP’s “Boost & Bust” project which operates every two months to identify and arrest shoplifters who prey on local businesses. GTC also opens its doors, literally, to the Surrey RCMP Training Unit and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team to provide one of the most realistic training venues for police. Hundreds of police officers engage in extensive active-shooter training in this venue, which is invaluable for effective police training. GTC also regularly contributes towels, clothing, and money from its fountain to the Lookout Society.
- Karen Klein – ICBC
Karen Klein, as the ICBC Road Safety and Community Coordinator for Surrey and White Rock, assists with traffic safety initiatives, including the Walking Wednesdays project. Spearheaded by the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit, the project is a partnership with Surrey RCMP Traffic, Bylaws, Speed Watch volunteers and ICBC volunteers to enhance safety in school zones. A “fairy lane” was created in a park close to the school. Students painted fairy houses to hang along the pathway. The goal was to reduce traffic on the roads around the school to make it safer for children. Volunteers from Surrey Parks and Recreation, the Surrey RCMP and ICBC had information booths along the pathway. Students were given passports which were stamped for walking to school and, at the end of the program, the classes with the most stamps were rewarded with a pizza lunch. Karen was instrumental in the success of the Walking Wednesdays project, securing funding for all print materials, fairy houses, and the pizza!
- Save On Foods – Store #2207 (10312 King George Boulevard)
Every day, Surrey RCMP officers support individuals dealing with homelessness, mental health challenges, addictions and crisis. Officers are able to connect many of these clients to dedicated volunteers and staff at Surrey Urban Mission (SUM). Save On Foods at 10312 King George Boulevard is one of SUM’s largest and most consistent food and grocery donors. The volume of donations provided by the store has allowed SUM to focus their limited funds to help their guests with various services and outreach. Save On Foods also make a big difference in the overall health and diet of guests. Thanks in part to the generosity of Save On Foods, SUM serves over 2,500 hot meals per week. Many guests also leave with loaves of bread, cookies, or fresh produce that have been generously donated. The Surrey RCMP is grateful to Save On Foods.
MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Natalie Browne
Natalie Browne has developed a number of analytical products to support specialized teams like the Surrey Drug Section and Surrey Gang Enforcement Team to target the most volatile gang members in Surrey. Natalie works closely with RCMP partners and integrated units such as the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit to ensure a coordinated approach to a region-wide issue. Her analytical expertise has contributed to the development of sophisticated intelligence products that have helped advance various gang-related projects including EPREVENT, EPROCONSUL and ENUCIFERIOUS. Although her analytical portfolio has shifted to Major Crime investigations, she assists investigators when needed, and consults on complex gang investigations. Natalie is an invaluable member of the Crime Analysis Unit.
- Marnie Neal
Marnie Neal has been a case worker with Surrey RCMP Victim Services since 2004. Marnie assists individuals in extremely stressful circumstances such as domestic violence, elder abuse, next of kin notifications, break and enters, sexual assaults, and missing persons. She has attended over 500 crisis calls to support victims and witnesses at the scene. Marnie spearheaded the creation of the Bereavement Guide and the Critical Incident Trauma Guide, which are comprehensive resources for families and victims of traumatic events. The guides are updated annually with new resources and concerns, including the effects of the fentanyl crisis and having information in additional languages. Marnie also initiated the Facility Dog Program. She is now the primary handler for Cambria, a Justice Facility Dog. Marnie and Cambria have attended Neighbourhood Incident Response Support Team events to support citizens who have been affected by a violent crime.
- Jana Stocker
Jana Stocker is a Restorative Justice (RJ) Coordinator with the Surrey RCMP and was the sole coordinator and facilitator for over 10 years. She accepted over 1,000 files supporting over 3,000 victims, offenders and supporters. Jana created a decision-making workshop that is delivered to hundreds of youth. The low recidivism rates of the youth she helps is a testament to the efficacy of her methods and the depth of her commitment to youth. She teaches how RJ focuses on addressing the needs of the victim and the community. She emphasizes the offender accepting accountability for their actions, repairing the harm they caused. This holistic approach not only helps the victim recover from the experience quicker, but recidivism decreased greatly compared to other justice models. Jana advanced the Surrey RCMP RJ program to the most busy and successful program in Metro Vancouver.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Harsimran Cheema
Harsimran Cheema has quickly become one of the most consistent and top serving volunteers in the short 18 months she has been with the Surrey RCMP. She regularly exceeds her minimum required monthly hours, rarely misses a shift, and even helps develop new volunteers. Harsimran’s willingness to learn and ask questions helps to ensure she has all the information she needs to be successful in her role. While she is willing to take on a variety of shifts, Harsimran most often volunteers with Speed Watch or Stolen Auto Recovery. This ensures that both the Traffic Unit and Auto Crime Target Team have accurate and relevant data in order to carry out their directives. In addition to her role with the Surrey RCMP, Harsimran volunteers with several other organizations, attends school, and has a job. Her ability to manage her time effectively will serve her well in her journey to a career in law enforcement.
- Steve Gyorgy
In 4 years, Steve Gyorgy has volunteered over 700 hours to community engagement, traffic safety and crime prevention programs in Surrey. He is always willing to accommodate any training or shift deployments. He helps with pop-up detachments, open houses, Cops for Cancer events, and traffic safety campaigns such as Project Swoop, pedestrian safety and distracted driving. Steve is always early for his shift to help with set up and other tasks to support Community Program Coordinators. He often takes on the difficult or necessary tasks such as installing signs, even if that means missing the fun parts of an event. No task is too small for Steve. Even at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, he helped clean up. Steve can be counted on to mentor new volunteers, always bringing a positive attitude. His commitment to the Surrey RCMP Volunteer program is something to be admired.
- Sharanvir Kang
Since Sharanvir Kang became a volunteer with the Surrey RCMP in 2016, she has dedicated over 550 volunteer hours. She often signs up for back-to-back shifts, putting in a full 8-hour day. At times, Sharanvir has volunteered up to 4 days a week. She takes part in various crime prevention programs such as Speed Watch, Lock Out Auto Crime, Stolen Auto Recovery and Project Swoop, and community events including Block Watch Symposiums, community festivals, soccer tournaments and the Officer in Charge Awards. After all her hard work and determination, she was recently accepted to the RCMP Depot Division and is now on her way to becoming a regular member. Sharanvir attended university, held a job and fulfilled her volunteer commitments without ever missing a single shift, all while applying to become a RCMP member.
RCMP AUXILIARY OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Auxiliary Terry Mann
Terry Mann volunteers hundreds of hours annually with the auxiliary program, in addition to his regular job with the Surrey RCMP Transport Unit. The Emergency and Operational Planning Unit, which oversees public and officer safety at large-scale events in Surrey, relies on Terry regularly to both support members and engage with the public at these major events. In addition to his work at festivals, parades and community events, Terry has taken on the role of maintaining much of the equipment that is used at these events. He utilizes his second language to engage with members of the South Asian community at cultural events. Terry also mentors newer police officers and auxiliaries in their roles and responsibilities at events. Terry always shows integrity, resilience and compassion in his work with the Surrey RCMP.
- Auxiliary Karen Summers
Karen Summers has served as an Auxiliary with the Surrey RCMP for an amazing 26 years. During her service, she has volunteered countless hours to assist with crime prevention and public safety initiatives. Karen volunteers for special events including the Cloverdale Rodeo, Surrey RCMP Open House, and the Vaisakhi Parade. Recently, Karen volunteered with the new Safe Driver Dialogue Circle, which is a Restorative Justice initiative to educate young drivers on the consequences of distracted driving. As part of this program, young drivers go out on a shift with an auxiliary and conduct a distracted driving deployment. In order for this new program to be successful, it requires the willingness of auxiliaries to work with a member of the public and be a role model. Karen has stepped up to assist Restorative Justice with this program.
- Auxiliary Kim Treider
Kim Treider has been an Auxiliary with the Surrey RCMP for 15 years. During his service, he has contributed over 1,000 hours to the detachment and the city by assisting with road safety initiatives, crime prevention activities, and community events. In 2018, Kim composed a proposal for how auxiliaries could effectively support the Surrey RCMP Traffic Section with an impaired driving enforcement campaign. As a result of his efforts, auxiliaries were able to participate in this 3-night campaign and support police officers by checking for stolen licence plates and uninsured vehicles, noting any suspicious or criminal activity. Kim’s extensive local knowledge and his many years in the auxiliary program have made him a trusted source for both detachment staff and his fellow auxiliaries.
POLICE TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Domestic Violence Unit
The Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) focuses on domestic violence investigations, ranging from simple assaults to serious injuries. DVU works closely with partners including the Surrey Women’s Centre, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Surrey Schools, Ending Violence Association of BC, and Community Coordination for Women’s Safety. The unit supports General Duty with domestic violence investigations, providing oversight to ensure compliance with provincial policy. DVU also manages a High Risk Offender (HRO) program which identifies and manages designated HROs related to domestic violence. This team works with a case assessment team to assess and monitor HROs, greatly reducing recidivism. DVU developed a Healthy Relationships presentation for students to educate youth on healthy relationships, preventing future domestic violence.
Frontline policing, often referred to as “boots on the ground”, consists of 4 Watches that respond to calls for service 24/7. In 2015 a smaller Watch, E-Watch, was created to respond to calls for service during peak policing times, and to conduct proactive, intelligence-led policing in line with the Surrey RCMP Crime Reduction Strategy. Last year, Sergeant Dale Jackson conducted a review of E-Watch to assess its overall effectiveness. Enhancements were made to E-Watch’s service delivery and mandate, resulting in significant increases in performance and proactive initiatives. Prior to these changes, E-Watch produced 5,682 proactive files in 2018. Just halfway through 2019, E-Watch has produced 8,746 proactive files due to the team’s drive to enhance public safety. It is anticipated E-Watch will produce over 16,000 proactive files this year, an increase of over 280%.
- Police Mental Health Intervention Unit/Car 67
One of the many organizations that the Police Mental Health Intervention Unit (PMHIU) and Car 67 supports is Benjamin Residential & Vocational Options (BRAVO). BRAVO provides residential and community-based services to adults with developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and/or addiction. PMHIU/Car 67 began to regularly respond to 911 calls for the same individual at BRAVO. Over time, PMHIU/Car67 and BRAVO developed a plan for response that would be more therapeutic for the individual. This innovative response and support plan allowed the individual to learn self-coping skills and reduce 911 calls and hospital visits. This team now works proactively with BRAVO to develop a plan for each new resident. Earlier this year, PMHIU/Car 67 amalgamated with the Surrey Outreach Team to now form the Police Mental Health Outreach Team.
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CEO, Surrey Board of Trade