Staff-Sgt. Robert McCloy was named Police Officer of the Year (nominated by the community) at an awards ceremony Wednesday night.

Meet Surrey’s finest of 2011

Annual Police Officer of the Year Awards honour policing’s best.

The police officers whose front-line performance stood out in the eyes of their peers and the community were honoured on Wednesday night.

The 15th annual Surrey Board of Trade’s Police Officer of the Year Awards were held last night (Wednesday) at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. Police officers and groups helping make Surrey a safer place were recognized in eight categories.

Staff-Sgt. Robert McCloy was named Police Officer of the Year (nominated by the community).

McCloy is the senior operations non-commissioned officer at the Surrey detachment and spearheads the SPURS program for youth interested in pursuing a career in policing. The youth are taught drill, RCMP history, and criminal law, among other police-related subjects. McCloy was cited for his sense of humour and dedication to inspiring young cadets.

Sgt. Vince Arsenault was named Police Officer of the Year (nominated by his peers).

Arsenault has been been involved in drug section investigations for the majority of his service. He recently took the the position of operations support for Surrey RCMP’s drug section with a focus on creating a sustainable expert opinion/witness program in Surrey. He is known as one of the premier expert witnesses in Canada and has been instrumental in the revision of the regional expert witness program.

The Auxiliary Constable honour went to Bonnie Mellor, who has been with the auxiliary program two-and-a-half years.

Mellor consistently makes herself available to assist crime prevention coordinators and takes it upon herself to learn as much about Block Watch as possible. Mellor also plays a significant role in the SPURS youth group’s final parade. She works well with the public and children and helps at many special events.

The Police Team Award was given to the Surrey detachment’s drug section Street Enforcement Team.

The team is responsible for drug enforcement at the street level in Surrey. The detachment covers a large geographical area and contains a number of locations where “open air” drug trafficking has been identified as a significant and chronic problem.

The RCMP has received numerous complaints about this overt ongoing drug trafficking. As a result of these complaints, the Street Enforcement Team conducted a year-long investigation into this type of drug trafficking in multiple areas of Surrey. Over the course of this operation, the drug section recommended 53 charges of trafficking in a controlled substance, and has experienced a high success rate with operations targeting both “open air” and “dial-a-dope” drug trafficking.

The Arnold Silzer Community Policing Initiative Award went to Constables Thor Forseth and Trevor Nakashima.

Nakashima and Forseth have been partners since August 2010 as part of an initiative between the RCMP and the Transit Police. They have both demonstrated their mutual commitment to crime reduction at Surrey Central. Nakashima and Forseth have developed a strong and productive relationship with the business community at Surrey Central and show a high work ethic and dedication.

The winner of the Police and Business Partnership Award was the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (DSBIA).

The DSBIA established a safety committee to discuss ongoing issues and develop strategies to effectively deal with those issues.

The association also holds semi-annual meetings over breakfast, including with the RCMP, and established a daily bicycle patrol along the King George Boulevard corridor in an effort to deter crime in the area. The patrols are an extra set of eyes and ears in the area and the patrol members are in regular contact with the District One foot beat members.

The Municipal Employee of the Year Award was given to Sandy Campbell, an energetic, highly organized and competent employee who cares greatly about her volunteers, co-workers and the community.

Campbell can be counted on to quickly and effectively deal with any issues related to her role as the district’s coordinator. She is a self-starter who initiates plans to meet the needs of the district and always seeks opportunities to improve processes and the overall direction of the unit.

Volunteer of the Year honours went to Charlie Gregor, who has been volunteering in the District 5 RCMP office for the past 11 years, accumulating over 3,400 hours of service.

His eagerness to assist with whatever is required displays a commitment to community safety. Gregor played a key role in customizing and designing forms for the Home Security Program, spending countless hours editing and perfecting all details. Gregor is also out twice a week with Speed Watch, is a facilitator for Mature Drivers and Senior Safety, reviews daily and community newspapers for suspicious advertisements to be forwarded to the B.C. Securities Commission under the Ad Watch Program, and participates in Lock Out Auto Crime blitzes and Stolen Auto Recovery.

This yea’rs Police Officer of the Year Awards featured keynote speaker Henry Hall, the Métis Nation B.C. regional director for the Lower Mainland Métis Nation.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com