An off-duty police officer jumped into action when a fellow gym member fell to the ground after a cardiac event at a fitness club; a team of officers’ efforts following armed robbery of an IDA pharmacy, ultimately led the arrest of the suspects… these are just some of the amazing police responses highlighted at the 20th annual Police Appreciation and Awards Night held October 20.
This year’s theme was ’20 Years of Excellence’. More than $1.5 million has been raised over the past 20 years and the proceeds are reinvested into educational, community safety and outreach programs involving police officers.
Paying it Forward: Cst. Jeff Tucker was recognized for life saving measures he took at a local gym while he was off duty. A member of the gym collapsed without a pulse. He provided CPR that thankfully revived the male with the help of the AED. Jeff had a similar experience happen to him almost three years ago during a hockey game and fellow off-duty officers used the AED to save Jeff. Both Jeff and the male he saved are thankful to have seen several more holidays and birthdays with their families.
IDA Robberies: In March 2022, there were several IDA pharmacy robberies across the GTA. Proactive patrolling of IDA pharmacies in Durham Region resulted in a DRPS officer spotting the suspect vehicle. Through coordinated efforts of Air1, 911/Communications and officers on the ground – the suspects were arrested, preventing further robberies and providing relief to the community.
A special (and surprise) presentation of the Mike Ewles Community Builder Award was made to Cst. Darryl Rice for his exemplary work in crime prevention and tireless efforts to assist the communities he serves. Darryl gives selflessly of his time to educate residents on crime prevention and has run the DRPS Food and Toy Drive for the last six years. The special award recognizes someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty by building partnerships and connections between the police service and the community it serves. Cst. Rice makes dozens of presentations in the community about crime prevention and bullying every year. His goal is to educate the public about protecting their property and to empower youth to stand up against bullying.
The Kevin McAlpine Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a lifelong, retiring or retired officer who has spent at least five years as a sworn member of DRPS. The award recognizes someone who most exemplifies the characteristics of dedication, enthusiasm, leadership and ethical behaviour. This was awarded to (ret) Chief Todd Rollauer, who was the ultimate team player throughout the organization for 36 years.
The event’s original co-chairs Moe Pringle and Blair McArthur were also recognized for their vision, passion and dedication to this event and the community.
Another highlight of the night was a speech from Chief for a Day winner Kaiyah Jarrett, a Grade 5 student St. Anne Catholic School in Oshawa. She delivered her award-winning essay that focused on officer health and safety.