Eight members of the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment were given awards of valour for thwarting a home invasion, rescuing hostages and arresting the intruders.
They were among 121 women and men of law enforcement who were recognized for their bravery and dedication at the 37th annual Police Honours Night at Government House on Nov. 16.
“Constables Shauna England (now with Federal Serious and Organized Crime), Josh Garcia, Tom Graham, Harpreet Kombo, Kyle Mackenzie, Brent Morson (now with Integrated Police Dog Service), Rick O’Brien and Peter Westra placed themselves at substantial risk to enter a residence of an armed home invasion in progress to rescue the hostages and apprehend the suspects,” said the explanation of their award.
Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth presented awards to officers of all ranks, from municipal departments and RCMP detachments, for their “extraordinary accomplishments in life-saving incidents, their determination above and beyond the call of duty and their work to make B.C.’s communities safer.”
There were 42 awards of valour, which is the highest award for a police officer in B.C., and there were 79 honours for meritorious service.
There are more than 9,000 police officers working in the province.
“Tonight’s awards are just a highlight of the courage, aptitude and commitment – not only to their profession, but also to their communities – that epitomize law enforcement officers here in British Columbia,” said Farnworth.
“They selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public every single day. On behalf of all British Columbians, we thank you for your bravery, courage and dedication to duty.”
Other award recipients included:
- A team of constables from Port Moody who entered a burning home, despite thick smoke and very limited visibility, to search for and evacuate residents.
- Vancouver officers who placed themselves at substantial risk to protect the public while pursuing a male suspect on a shooting spree.
- A constable from Chetwynd who searched a steep embankment in cold temperatures and impending darkness to save a hypothermic man from near death.
- Members from Ridge Meadows who entered a residence with an armed home invasion in progress to rescue hostages and apprehend suspects.
- A team of constables from New Westminster who successfully resolved a crisis negotiation involving an armed, suicidal male holding a female hostage.
- A constable from North Cowichan/Duncan who managed a chaotic scene where victims had been stabbed, quickly providing first aid and single-handedly arresting the suspect at large.