Surrey: The Surrey Board of Trade’s 18th Annual Police Officer of the Year Awards was held on October 9, at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. The presenting sponsors were the BC Lottery Corporation and Commissionaires BC, with media sponsors the Now Newspaper and News 1130.
Dressed in red serge uniforms, many members along with Surrey’s Auxiliary officers, civilian employees and volunteers joined members of Surrey’s business community to celebrate those chosen by their peers and the public as those most worthy to receive the two Police Officer of the Year awards, as well as awards for top Auxiliary Officer, most deserving municipal employee working with the police service, top volunteer and business partner.
The 400-person gathering was addressed by Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Officer in Charge of the Surrey Detachment; Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts; and Jay DeMerit of the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Surrey RCMP Detachment, the largest in Canada and second largest municipal force in BC, has over 650 officers and hundreds of support staff.
2014 Police Officer of the Year Awards Winners: (full descriptions are noted below):
Police Officer of the Year – Nominated by Community: Corporal Allison Douglas
Police Officer of the Year – Nominated by Peers: Corporal Nicole Noonan
Volunteer of the Year: Linda Stromberg
Auxiliary Constable of the Year: Auxiliary Constable Karen Summers
Arnold Silzer Community Policing Initiative Award: Special Constable Susan Caley
Police & Business Partnership Award: Karen Klein, ICBC
Municipal Employee of the Year: Monica Prasad
Police Team Award: Surrey RCMP Criminal Collision Investigation Team
Police Officer of the Year – Nominated by Community: Winner: Corporal Allison Douglas
Corporal Douglas embodies the definition of hard work, commitment, dedication and being a team player. Since the inception of the Surrey Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (SCADA) in 2009, Corporal Douglas has played an integral part in forming this committee and has been the law enforcement voice to a city lead, community committee. Corporate Douglas’ commitment and leadership in the education and prevention of domestic abuse in our community has been instrumental in the recognition of Surrey as being a leader in this field. Her strong sense to always do it right, even if it takes longer, is one of the reasons that SCADA has enjoyed the success it has. Allison’s personal passion and tireless commitment is evident in her serving on the committee. She has been involved in all aspects of the planning and coordination of all four of the SCADA Conferences that have been held in Surrey. Her leadership in the area of community education on domestic abuse has been invaluable. Preventing abuse happening to another victim is her driving passion.
Police Officer of the Year – Nominated by Peers: Winner: Corporal Nicole Noonan
Quoted by colleagues as “the hardest working member”, Corporal Nicole Noonan successfully manages three units within the RCMP under a ‘youth’ umbrella. Nicole has been Acting-Sergeant of the Youth Unit since July 2013 and in that time has revamped the program. Her keen interest and dedication to supporting youth in the community, both in her work and personal environments is evident. She has participated in youth focused community initiatives including Youth Week, Shop with a Cop, Code Blue, Outreach Project and the Think of Me (TOM) Campaign. Additionally, there is an extensive list of extra initiatives that Nicole commenced and/or participates in. Though Corporal Noonan is extremely busy with her management duties as a Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge, she is very much a part of the team. Leading calls and investigations, conducting interviews and supporting other members when needed, Nicole rarely leaves the office on time. Nicole Noonan is a dedicated law enforcement professional, with experience and expertise well beyond her years and service.
Volunteer of the Year: Winner: Linda Stromberg
Linda Stromberg has been a Block Watch Captain for the past thirteen years for a neighbourhood within the Cloverdale community. Linda has shown to be an excellent communicator and not only keeps neighbours informed about crime issues and crime prevention tips, she also uses email as a forum to educate neighbours on community events, educational opportunities and community development. Linda was proactive in contacting the proper organizations to determine solutions and prevention. Linda’s community mindedness extends beyond her own neighbourhood. She is an active Lord Tweedsmuir Seconday parent, an advocate for youth issues within the school and the City of Surrey’s Parks and Recreation Department, a key member of the Cloverdale Community Association and she is the Board Chair for Surrey Libraries. Her volunteerism is extraordinary and her ability to empower others to also get involved is an invaluable asset. She truly is making her neighbourhood, community and city a better place to live.
Auxiliary Constable of the Year – Winner: Auxiliary Constable Karen Summers
For the past 22 years, Auxiliary Constable Karen Summers has been an unsung hero of the Surrey RCMP Auxiliary Constable program. She is a regular volunteer at many community events and is an Auxiliary Constable that can be counted on to assist when needed. Karen’s positive attitude and willingness helps drive her to not only succeed within her own life, but also contributes to her mentorship for new members to the Auxiliary Constable program. If anyone has questions or concerns, she is always willing to assist and encourage success in others. She is also an advocate for Auxiliaries to ensure they know their rights and responsibilities. While her past achievements are truly exemplary, it is for her tenacity, dedication and leadership within the Auxiliary Constable program that she is nominated for this award.
Arnold Silzer Community Policing Initiative Award – Winner: Special Constable Susan Caley
On a daily basis, Susan meets with Seniors in South Surrey and participates in Seniors Advisory groups, the Peace Arch Geriatric Mental Health, Home Health, Focus on Senior forums, District 5 Senior Safety Team, Mature Drivers education courses, seniors scam/fraud prevention strategies, and liaises with South Surrey businesses. Susan also attends monthly meetings with Youth Probation, meetings for child/youth committee, partners with Alexandra House and Youth café drop in, participates in Big Brothers/Sisters program, engages local elementary and high schools, engages local skateboarding community on safety, participates in Code Blue fitness program at local high schools, attends weekly meetings with aboriginal youth at Earl Marriot, participates in a little buddy program, presentations to schools and youth community groups on stranger danger, I-Smart, and when to call police. Susan is known to all local youth who hang around the Blue Line (152 Street- 16th to 20th area). She is trusted and shows a genuine interest in their lives.
Police and Business Partnership Award – Winner: Karen Klein, ICBC Road Safety Coordinator
Karen Klein is a committed partner always looking for new and differing solutions to road safety and auto crime prevention. Always available and supportive of RCMP programs, Karen often spearheads new initiatives and Joint Forces Operations (JFO) around the issues of speed, impaired driving, distracted driving, and pedestrian safety. She performs this duty with a multi-agency and holistic approach, with the goal of educating, producing positive media for the Surrey RCMP and its volunteers. She motivates and engages volunteers and members alike. Karen introduced Project SWOOP to Surrey in the Spring of 2013. Project SWOOP has Community Policing volunteers from all five District offices as well as the Surrey Crime Prevention Society Speed Watch team hitting the roads along with Surrey RCMP Traffic members, Auxiliaries, the Fraser Valley Integrated Road Safety Unit, ICBC Road Safety team and city staff in each area of Surrey, to drive home the fact that speeding and high risk driving behaviours are dangerous and they increase the probability of being involved in a crash. The initiative is gaining momentum, enthusiasm and popularity from the participants involved. In an often challenging and unstable environment due to member resources, Karen successfully coordinated all the players to make Project SWOOP a success in Surrey.
Municipal Employee of the Year Award – Winner: Monica Prasad
Monica Prasad works at Surrey RCMP Detachment as the Diversity Coordinator. Prior to this role, Monica worked as a Victim Service Caseworker and filled various term positions as an Information Officer and Records Clerk. As the Diversity Coordinator, Monica is responsible for developing and implementing diversity programs at the detachment and in the community. She organizes and participates in community and cultural celebrations such as the Vaisakhi Parade, Rakhi, and Surrey Welcoming Community events. Monica also teaches and leads Newcomer Tours and Introduction to Policing to Canada workshops for community partners and new residents. Monica is instrumental in enhancing diversity relationships and building partnerships between the City of Surrey, the RCMP, and the community. Monica serves on various community committees, including the Welcoming & Inclusive Committee, the BC Law Enforcement Diversity Network and in two short years, is the Chair of the Surrey & Delta Intercultural Council. Monica participates on project teams that promote crime prevention and community engagement in the city, including the Stop Bullying film competition, the Surrey RCMP Police Open House, the Rakhi Project and Surrey Steps Up.
Police Team Award – Winner: Surrey RCMP Criminal Collision Investigation Team (CCIT)
The objective of the Criminal Collision Investigation Team (CCIT) is to provide quality service and a high-end work product for all serious injury and fatal collision investigations. CCIT is continually evolving their investigative techniques to gather the most evidence possible leading to an extremely high solve rate. They are now applying these techniques to unsolved historical criminal collision files, and making great progress. CCIT members are committed to conducting thorough investigations, not only for the victims, but for the families of the victims, and to ensure that innocent parties are cleared of any wrongdoing. Since the inauguration of the CCIT team, remaining Traffic Services members have been able to concentrate on traffic related enforcement and education initiatives, which has resulted in a decrease to the number of fatal and serious injury collisions by almost 50 per cent. It is the perseverance and tireless energy of this team that has led CCIT to suspects in all but one of their 144 files to date.