Group photo of 2019 Surrey Police Officer of the Year award winners Thursday night (Oct. 10) at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. (submitted photo: Surrey RCMP)

PHOTOS: Surrey Mounties, staff and others celebrated at 23rd police awards

Award winners announced in eight categories at hotel in Guildford

Surrey police officers, staff, volunteers and partners were celebrated Thursday night at the 23rd annual Surrey Police Officer of the Year awards dinner.

The $105-a-seat gala filled a ballroom at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, where Dwayne McDonald, Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge, served as keynote speaker, and CBC news anchor Mike Killeen was the event emcee.

Award winners were announced in eight categories.

• RELATED STORY, from August: Surrey police award finalists named ahead of October gala.

• READ ALSO: Surrey’s top cop says ‘if you want more boots on the ground, give me more boots’

Posted below are profiles of all the award winners, as submitted by event host Surrey Board of Trade.

POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR, NOMINATED BY COMMUNITY: Constable Richard Wright

“Constable Wright represents the RCMP at numerous community and youth events including the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic, Pride flag raising at Surrey detachment, Hands Across the Border, Cloverdale Rodeo, Surrey Board of Trade Top 25 Under 25, Surrey Steps Up, and various Safe Schools events. In addition, he developed a community engagement event for Fraser Valley Heritage Rail that included a First Responders’ Day. Corporal Wright’s singing talents have been on display with his singing of “God Save the Queen” at the E-Division Changing of the Commanding Officer ceremony, and in a viral video of him singing a duet from the movie Frozen at the Cloverdale Kids Expo. As a member of the E-Division Ceremonial Troop, Constable Wright engages the community on many occasions in red serge. Constable Wright has become an informal mentor to a Surrey youth. He spent a considerable amount of time providing advice and encouragement. This youth, Brahmroop Sandhu, went on to win the Surrey Board of Trade’s Top 25 under 25 Award in 2019 for his volunteerism and community engagement, and completed his law enforcement studies at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. He now works for the Canadian Border Services Agency. Brahroop says the mentorship provided by with Constable Wright changed his life forever.”

POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR, NOMINATED BY PEERS: Constable Karen Baker

“Seeking to help enhance public safety at Scott Road SkyTrain Station, Constable Karen Baker worked with Transit Police and the City of Surrey to create a policy for police to obtain CCTV footage of incidents that occurred in Scott Road SkyTrain parking lots. Constable Baker developed a safety project which was featured by several media outlets to educate commuters on how to lock out auto crime. The City of Surrey adopted the project, which is still in existence today. In 2013 while working General Duty in north Surrey, Constable Baker attended a call for service where a domestic assault was in progress. Upon arrival the subject of complaint attempted to take a young infant as a shield in order to avoid arrest. Constable Baker and her partner acted quickly to intervene and, as a result, she was severely injured and forced into medical rehabilitation. In 2015, Constable Baker was assigned to the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit where she really found her calling. Constable Baker participates in programs such as Big Brothers In-School Mentoring Program, Code Blue and Mini Blue programs, and anti-bullying campaigns.”

ARNOLD SILZER COMMUNITY POLICING INITIATIVE: Surrey Gang Enforcement Team

“The Surrey Gang Enforcement Team (SGET) embraces a multi-faceted approach to enhancing public safety with enforcement, youth education, at-risk outreach, and partnerships with local businesses. Their approach to reducing gang violence includes a variety of evidence-based enforcement strategies, and enthusiastic community engagement with youth and at-risk individuals. This unique, problem-solving approach empowers local youth to avoid recruitment into gangs while simultaneously disrupting individuals currently engaged in gang-related crime. In 2018, SGET developed and implemented a new community program called the Inadmissible Patrons Program (IPP). This program deters violent crime by removing individuals from participating establishments if their lifestyle, associations and activities pose a risk to public safety. This program also empowers local business owners and employees by providing an active solution to combatting gang violence. SGET is involved in over 1,000 investigations a year that result in a large volume of criminal charges, vehicle and firearm seizures, and thousands of dollars in illicit drugs and illegal currency. SGET is helping to drive down drug trafficking and violent crime related to gang activity.”

POLICE AND BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP: Save-On-Foods, store #2207

“Every day, Surrey RCMP officers support individuals dealing with homelessness, mental health challenges, addictions and crisis. Officers are able to connect many of these clients to hardworking, dedicated volunteers and staff at Surrey Urban Mission. Save On Foods at 10312 King George Boulevard is one of Surrey Urban Mission’s largest and most consistent food and grocery donors. The volume of donations provided by the store have allowed Surrey Urban Mission to focus their limited funds to help their guests with various types of services and outreach that are so greatly needed in Whalley. The donations made by Save on Foods also make a big difference in the overall health and diet of guests. Thanks in part to the generosity of Save On Foods, the Surrey Urban Mission serves over 2,500 hot meals per week to those in the community. Many guests also leave with loaves of bread, cookies, or fresh produce that have been generously donated. The Surrey RCMP is grateful for Save on Foods’ contributions to the community.”

MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Marnie Neal

“Marnie Neal has been a case worker with Surrey RCMP Victim Services since 2004. Marnie is called to assist individuals in extremely stressful circumstances such as domestic violence, elder abuse, next of kin notifications, break and enters, sexual assaults, and missing persons. She has attended over 500 crisis calls to support victims and witnesses at the scene. Marnie spearheaded the creation of the Bereavement Guide and the Critical Incident Trauma Guide, which are comprehensive resources for families and victims of traumatic events. The guides are updated annually with new resources and concerns, including the effects of the fentanyl crisis and having information in additional languages. Marnie also initiated the Facility Dog Program. She is now the primary handler for Cambria, a Justice Facility Dog trained through Pacific Assistance Dogs Society. Marnie works with Cambria most days and provides a loving home for Cambria in her off-work hours. Marnie and Cambria have attended Neighbourhood Incident Response Support Team events to support citizens who have been affected by a violent crime in their neighbourhood, and attended critical incident debriefs for RCMP members and staff who have been affected by traumatic events.”

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Steve Gyorgy

“In the past 4 years Steve Gyorgy has volunteered over 700 hours to community engagement, traffic safety and crime prevention programs in Surrey. He is always willing to accommodate any training or shift deployments. He helps with “pop up detachments”, open houses, Cops for Cancer events, and traffic safety campaigns such as Project Swoop, pedestrian safety and distracted driving. Steve is always early for his shift to help with set up and any other tasks to support Community Program Coordinators. He often takes on the difficult or necessary tasks such as installing signs, even if that means missing the fun parts of an event. No task is too small for Steve. Even at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, he helped with clean up. Steve can be counted on to mentor new volunteers and always brings a positive attitude. His commitment to the Surrey RCMP Volunteer program is something to be admired.”

AUXILIARY OF THE YEAR: Auxiliary Kim Treider

“Kim Treider has been an Auxiliary with the Surrey RCMP for 15 years. During his service, he has contributed over 1,000 hours to the detachment and the city by assisting with road safety initiatives, crime prevention activities, and community events. In addition, Kim regularly takes the initiative to proactively expand the ways that auxiliaries can contribute to various public safety deployments or local events requiring a police presence. In 2018, Kim composed a proposal for how auxiliaries could effectively support the Surrey RCMP Traffic Section with an impaired driving enforcement campaign. As a result of his efforts, Auxiliaries were able to participate in this 3-night campaign and support police officers by checking for stolen licence plates and uninsured vehicles, noting any suspicious or criminal activity. Kim’s extensive local knowledge and his many years in the auxiliary program have made him a trusted source for both detachment staff and his fellow auxiliaries. Kim has a passion for contributing to public safety that is greatly appreciated by the staff at Surrey detachment and the community.”

POLICE TEAM OF THE YEAR: E-Watch

“Frontline policing, often referred to as ‘boots on the ground,’ consists of 4 Watches that respond to calls for service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2015 a smaller Watch called E-Watch was created with a mandate to respond to calls for service during peak policing times, and to conduct proactive, intelligence-led policing in line with the Surrey RCMP Crime Reduction Strategy. Last year, Sergeant Dale Jackson conducted a review of E -Watch to assess its overall effectiveness. Following this review, enhancements were made to E Watch’s service delivery and mandate, resulting in a significant increase in performance and proactive initiatives. Prior to making these changes, E-Watch members produced 5,682 pro-active files in 2018. However, just halfway through 2019, E-Watch has produced 8,746 proactive files due to the teams’ hard work and drive to enhance community safety. At this pace, it is anticipated E-Watch will produce over 16,000 proactive files this year, an increase of over 280%. In addition to targeting hot spots and nuisance areas, E-Watch recently began a community policing profile that targets areas with high property crime with overt, intelligence-led policing and enforcement. This enhanced visibility has resulted in positive feedback from Surrey residents and strong results.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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