An off-duty Campbell River RCMP officer who had a gun pointed at his head but managed to de-escalate the situation was among the 114 law enforcement officers recognized for bravery and dedication at the 38th annual Police Honours Night at Government House Thursday.
Two other officers at the Campbell River RCMP detachment received Awards of Meritorious Service.
Police officers from around the province put their lives on the line to ensure British Columbians from all walks of life are safe.
“It takes a special kind of person to serve in law enforcement, those who know the dangers and challenges of their profession but remain committed to serve with pride and never shy away from their duty,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Tonight’s honourees are examples of that commitment in action and on behalf of all British Columbians, we thank officers just like them all across the province for their immeasurable contributions to public safety.”
Lt. Gov. Janet Austin and Farnworth presented awards to officers of all ranks from municipal departments and the RCMP for their bravery in life-saving incidents, their devotion above and beyond the call of duty and their work to make B.C.’s communities safer. Some of this year’s recipients included:
* a constable from Delta who, while off duty, intervened and apprehended a male who was stabbing a female with a large kitchen knife.
* an investigative team that spent 20 months in a gruelling investigation to remove international drug traffickers from the streets;
* officers from Nanaimo who enlisted bystanders to help lift a motor vehicle and extract a woman being asphyxiated under the engine block;
* members from North Cowichan/Duncan who rescued a woman trapped in a car hanging off a riverbank;
* an officer from Vancouver who, while off duty, pursued and apprehended an armed male who had broken into her residence;
* a member from Abbotsford who, while off duty, traversed 76 metres (250 feet) down a steep embankment to give first aid to an injured motorcyclist; and
* officers from Oceanside whose persistent pursuit through dense bush ensured the arrest of a prolific offender.
“Those recognized tonight have demonstrated exemplary courage and conviction,” Austin said. “It is an honour to hear the stories of these brave men and women, who serve British Columbians often at the risk of their own lives. We thank them for their service and acknowledge all who support them to do such impactful work for the province.”
Campbell River detachment’s Const. Nicholas Underhill received an Award of Valour Thursday. While off duty, Underhill de-escalated and followed a volatile male who had pointed a loaded handgun at the constable’s head.
In all, 30 officers received the award of valour, the highest award for a police officer in B.C. These officers exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect others from harm.
In addition, 84 officers were feted with honours for meritorious service, recognizing exemplary performance that answered the call to service in exceptional ways.
The name of a Campbell River detachment Mountie who received an Award of Meritorious Service is not being released. He is being recognized for searching through dense bush and heavy wet snow for a distraught male suffering from mental health issues.
Meanwhile, former Sayward Detachment Const. Russell Mante (now with Campbell River Detachment) who searched for and provided aid to a hypothermic fisherman also received an Award of Meritorious Service.
* Police Honours Night recognizes members of independent municipal police forces, the RCMP, First Nations, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and transit police services who have acted in an exemplary manner.
* In all, more than 9,000 members of these services deliver policing throughout B.C.
* Representatives from the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, the B.C. Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police, the RCMP and the ministry’s Policing and Security Branch comprise a committee that selected the recipients.