The 18th annual Police Officer of the Year Awards are Thursday night, and there’s a Cloverdale connection to five out of eight award categories.
The awards are presented Oct. 9 by the Surrey Board of Trade, recognizing Surrey RCMP, auxiliaries, civilian employees and volunteers for innovation, commitment, contribution and perseverance in the line of duty.
Shona Yuzwa, office coordinator for the Surrey RCMP Cloverdale/Port Kells District for 16 years is a finalist in the municipal employee award category.
Volunteer Darlene Bowyer of the Port Kells Community Association is a finalist in the Arnold Silzer Community Award category.
Another local volunteer is Cloverdale’s Linda Stromberg, who is up for the Volunteer of the Year award.
Community Safety Officer Dennis Bell is a finalist in the Police officer of the Year, Nominated by Community category. Bell is a familiar face in Cloverdale and Clayton, where he’s part of the Neighbourhood Liaison Unit that combines traditional aspects of law enforcement with problem-solving, community initiatives and partnerships to deal with concerns.
And finally, Staff/Sgt. Martin Blais, formerly of the District 4 office, is up for Police Officer of the Year.
More than 70 nominations were received this year. Winners are chosen by their peers and the public.
The awards ceremony is being held at Sheraton Guildford, with Global TV’s Mark Madryga as master of ceremonies, and keynote speaker Bob Lenarduzzi of the Vancouver Whitecaps.