Police Heroes Honoured Virtually During 2021 PAO Annual General Meeting
TORONTO, June 2, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) announced the winners and finalists of its sixth annual Police Services Hero of the Year Awards program. Throughout February and March, the public was encouraged to submit nominations for their local police heroes – sworn and civilian police personnel who have gone above and beyond while on the job or in the community.
The PAO’s Awards Committee (comprised of members-at-large, the President, the Board Chair, and civilian association staff) had the challenging task of narrowing down over 350 worthy and often personal nominations to a shortlist of three finalists per award category. A virtual Awards Banquet was held this afternoon during the PAO’s Annual General Meeting webcast, which is attended by representatives from 46 local police associations across the province.
The PAO is pleased to announce the recipients of its 6th Annual Police Services Hero of the Year Awards. Congratulations to the 2021 award winners:
- Sgt. Steven Large, Ontario Provincial Police: 2021 On-Duty Difference Maker – Sworn Police Officer
In March 2020, Sgt. Large risked his own life by undertaking a precarious water rescue using an available canoe on shore to save the life of an ice fisherman who had fallen through the St. Lawrence River.
- Erin Morrison, Communicator, Peel Regional Police: 2021 On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee
Erin is an advocate for mental health awareness, distributing ‘self-care’ kits to colleagues and discussing her own mental health journey to help break down the stigma. As a 911 Communicator, she has a keen ability to make clearheaded decisions in stressful situations.
- Cst. William Hall, Peel Regional Police & Cst. Jennifer Landry, Ontario Provincial Police: 2021 Community Role Model
This is the first year two winners have been selected for this award. While off-duty this past winter, Cst. Hall saved a young boy from a serious dog attack in a park and supported the child’s family in various ways during his recovery. Cst. Landry, who unfortunately passed away while off-duty last year, made an incredible and lasting impact on the Indigenous communities she served.
The volume of incredible stories that outlined the efforts of police personnel in communities throughout the province cannot be understated. 2021 will be a challenging year to top. Given that, we would also like to congratulate this year’s award finalists:
- 911 Communications Team, Ontario Provincial Police: On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee
- Alice Czitrom & Service Dog Pixie – Victim Services Unit, Peterborough: On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee
- Acting Sgt. Anthea Fordyce, London Police: Community Role Model
- Cst. Matt Parker, North Bay Police: On-Duty Difference Maker – Sworn Police Officer
- Cst. Ed Sanchuk, Ontario Provincial Police: On-Duty Difference Maker – Sworn Police Officer
- Cst. Andria Spencer, London Police: Community Role Model
As the PAO was unable to honour this year’s winners and finalists in-person due to the pandemic, arrangements will be made to visit all winners and finalists at their home association later this year to safely and distantly present them with their awards. Local media will be welcome to attend, and details will be provided to outlets in advance. Additionally, all winners and finalists will be invited to the PAO’s 2022 Awards Ceremony next May to be honoured together, assuming we are able to gather in-person.
“Every single day, Ontario’s police officers and civilian police service employees put their own health and well-being on the line to ensure the safety of others, and go above and beyond the expectations of their roles to make significant contributions in their communities,” said PAO President, Bruce Chapman. “While many of their efforts are often regarded as just a normal ‘day at the office’ or a standard part of their off-duty time, the PAO is honoured to help the public acknowledge the outstanding positive impact of our police personnel,” said Chapman.
The stories of the 2021 Police Services Hero of the Year awards winners and of all nominees can be viewed online at www.policehero.ca.
About the Police Association of Ontario (PAO):
Founded in 1933, the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) is the official provincial representative body for over 28,000 sworn and civilian police personnel from 46 police associations across Ontario. A unifying voice for advocacy in policing, the PAO provides its member associations with representation, resource, and support.
SOURCE Police Association of Ontario