They are the best police officers in the city, according to their peers and the community.
The Surrey Board of Trade hosted the Police Officer of the Year Awards Thursday night at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.
Among them are:
Police Officer of the Year – Nominated by Community
S/Sgt. Dean Scott
S/Sgt. Dean Scott has served as a member of the RCMP for more than 35 years and is now the Staff Sergeant for District 2, Guildford. Scott has been instrumental in bridging and building relationships between the RCMP, the community, and businesses. Prior to his arrival as District Commander three years ago, parts of Guildford, including the mall, experienced a large amount vehicle theft. In recent years, the number of vehicles stolen, along with other crime in the area, has drastically decreased. Scott ensures that issues are handled promptly, and that problem individuals are dealt with quickly and efficiently. Scott is constantly communicating with the businesses in District 2, ensuring they are aware of crime trends in the area. His expertise and experience make him a valued teacher for the officers who work with him, and to the communities who often reach out to him for advice and support when dealing with sensitive situations. Scott is passionate about his work and his team.
Police Officer of the Year – Nominated by Peers
Const. Taylor Quee
During the past 3 years Const. Taylor Quee has sought improvements regarding the interactions that police and other agencies have with clients that exhibit mental health issues. Her passion for working with Mental Health clients developed during her various postings in Surrey Detachment. Her observations led her to believe that improvements could be made regarding the amount of time police and other agencies were spending with certain prolific clients. She standardized the way in which police and other agencies dealt with Mental Health clients.On her own volition, and quite often on her own time, Quee took a lead role and put structure to the Mental Health Forum. In a self‐generated pilot project, she created a client base for the Forum. She coordinated and researched how other North American police agencies respond to their Mental Health clients and interviewed personnel from 10 different police departments. From that, she crafted a business case that recommended, and ultimately led to, the creation of a new position ‐ Police Mental Health Liaison Officer. External stakeholders have constantly been impressed by Constable Quee’s commitment and professionalism. Throughout the implementation of the new program she has dedicated in excess of 300 hours of her own time to ensure its success.
Volunteer of the Year
In 2008, Gardner became involved with the Surrey RCMP as a Block Watch Captain. Her enthusiasm for crime prevention initiatives provided by the Surrey RCMP assisted her to make the evolution into becoming a district volunteer as well. Within her role as a Block Watch Captain, Gardner reinvigorated the Block Watch for her complex, which was on the verge of dissolving. The condo building she lives in was experiencing nuisance crimes, so Gardner arranged for a security assessment on the building and took the necessary steps to implement the change. Some of these changes include nightly patrols of the exterior of the building to ensure all exit doors are properly locked and keeping tabs on vehicles parked within the visitor parking to ensure that they belong. She frequently is the first to volunteer to assist with events within the community and assumes responsibility for many special projects that come up throughout the year. She assists with the maintenance of Block Watch files, generates Speed Watch letters warning registered owners that their vehicle was speeding, assists clients at the front counter or over the phone and a variety of other miscellaneous tasks. Wherever she is, she finds the opportunity to promote crime prevention programs, encouraging residents to join Block Watch to improve their neighbourhoods.
Auxiliary Constable of the Year
Aux. Const. Lubos Hrasko
Lubos became an Auxiliary Constable on Dec. 17, 2005. He has dedicated thousands of hours to the Auxiliary program, some years exceeding 600 hours. With this experience, Hrasko was soon recognized by his peers as a leader – a go-to person, and trusted by the members as a reliable, experienced “2nd member” in the car. Hrasko is one of the rare few that is able to balance a successful career, family life with three children and his auxiliary work with very few hiccups. It was quite common for Hrasko to come off a night shift and go home to pick up one of his children to go to a dance competition or soccer match. During his time as an Auxiliary, Hrasko has been stationed at the South Surrey District 5 Office. The Auxiliary Coordinator, Merv Bayda awarded Hrasko’ experience and leadership through a senior Auxiliary status. This meant that Hrasko would assist with new Auxiliary recruit interviews, training and field coaching. Auxiliary Constables with limited experience would be paired with Hrasko at events and community patrols to gain insight and experience from him. Unfortunately, not all of the District 5 Auxiliary Constables were as eager and dedicated as Hrasko, so the relationship between the D5 office and the assigned Auxiliaries became stale. Hrasko recognized that something had to be done about this. He approached the District 5 office with a new initiative which would allow an experienced auxiliary to be paired with another auxiliary to attend to areas known as “hotspots” to provide visibility and presence to these active areas. These initiatives have been both beneficial and productive.
Arnold Silzer Community Policing Initiative Award
Special Constables Josh Waltman and Simon Wong
Special Consts. Waltman and Wong are positive, high energy, approachable Safety Officers. Both are recent recipients of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals. They are tuned in to the needs of local businesses and the community, and support the District 1 Community Response Unit. Waltman and Wong often volunteer at other community events, whether it be as dancers in a youth flash mob or dressed like Santa and his Elf at a Senior’s Christmas dinner. As the 1Surrey RCMP polices a large geographical area, and the downtown core attracts a large police presence, Wong and Waltman helped identify the need to improve the RCMP’s presence in the outer skirts of the neighbourbood. They did so by putting RCMP Pop-Up Police Stations in areas that weren’t visited as frequently by police. At these highly visible stations, they erected RCMP tents, manned the sites along with Crime Prevention Coordinators, police officers, and volunteers. Tremendous positive feedback came from the community who were conveniently engaged by approachable police officers in their neighbourhood.
Police and Business Partnership Award
Tino Fluckiger and 1-800-SHREDDING
Since 2009, 1-800-Shredding has donated their time and equipment multiple times per year for Shred-A-Thon events held in the City of Surrey. The company’s owner, Tino Fluckiger is very community minded and enjoys seeing the good that this event brings. The event is well received by the community and besides the goal of preventing Identity Theft, cash and food donations are collected for local Food Banks. The general public begins to call early in the year to find out when the next event is being held. Thanks to 1-800-Shredding these events enable small businesses to save money while preventing Identity Theft. To-date, close to $20,000 has been raised for the Food Banks in North and South Surrey. Tino Fluckiger and staff from 1-800-Shredding have always stepped up to be there with their large truck for these events. They assist the public with unloading their vehicles and getting the paper into their truck for shredding. They are certainly worthy of recognition for their partnership with RCMP Crime Prevention.
Municipal Employee of the Year Award
In April 2007, Colleen began her employment at City of Surrey RCMP. Looking for a volunteer opportunity, she took up the call to assist with the SPURS Youth group of the Surrey RCMP. For four years she volunteered her time every Wednesday evening of the school year to assist the RCMP Coordinator with this program for 14-18 year olds who showed a desire to become a police officer. In September 2011 the program was taken over by the Youth Section of the RCMP and Staresina remains as a consultant. Currently she is in her sixth year on the board of the Block Watch Society of BC. As President she travels to various jurisdictions around the province as a volunteer to assist with their Block Watch programs or start new ones. She recently secured the RCMP Musical Ride to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Block Watch Society. This very rare and difficult feat brings extensive attention to the organization and Surrey. She also sits as Treasurer on the Board of the BC Crime Prevention Association, is an Emergency Social Services volunteer and a Block Watch Captain on her own residential street, and has worked for three years as a Big Sister in the school mentoring program. Staresina continues to very effectively and systematically approach the volume of issues with unique solutions in District 1. She initiated and developed a training session for landlords called “So You Want To Be a Landlord” in response to landlord/tenant issues. This program is now being shared in other police jurisdictions. In February 2013, Colleen was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her lifetime commitment to the community and her volunteer work. Her personal and knowledgeable approach have brought about a remarkable relationship with Program members, District 1 RCMP, and the community at large.
Police Team Award
Serious Crime Team 1
The Surrey Detachment Major Crime Section has three Serious Crime teams, each consisting of one Sergeant Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge, three Corporals, and three Constables. The mandate of the Serious Crime Unit is investigating the most serious criminal offences that occur in the City of Surrey, not limited to: Homicides (first instance), Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon, Kidnapping, Unlawful confinement, Suspicions Sudden Deaths, and Internal Investigations and Reviews as directed by the Officer In Charge of Investigative Services. Serious Crime Team 1 enjoyed a highly successful 2012-13 year, taking on significant high profile investigations, which contributed significantly to crime reduction in Surrey. Charges have been sworn in numerous cases with convictions registered. Serious Crime Team 1 demonstrates the advanced and strategic investigative skill and experience of the team coupled with their ability to gather admissible evidence within the realms of the law and knowledge of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada. The level of commitment, dedication, and perseverance exemplified by Serious Crime Team 1 has significantly contributed to crime reduction and enhancement of community safety in Surrey.