Thursday, May 16, 2019

Victoria BC- This week is National Police Week across Canada, and we’re highlighting some of the great work of our officers and civilian members who work on a daily basis to make Victoria and Esquimalt safer and more vibrant communities.

National Police week began in 1970 and is a way for communities to learn about what police do and the services that they provide.  On March 8th, VicPD held the annual Honours Ceremony to recognize some of the outstanding work of our officers and civilian members. In total, 41 officers and support staff were recognized. The awards were presented in two categories – the Police Exemplary Service Medal, followed by Chief and Deputy Chief Constables’ Commendations.

Four of those civilian members received the Chief Constable Unit Commendation for their actions on January 3rd, 2017. 

Joanne Appleyard, Nadja Hesser, Doug Linley and Leanne Aldridge  were working in the Victoria Police Communications Centre and the centre received a 911 call from a distraught man who indicated that he had hurt his wife.  The call originated in the Municipality of Saanich, but due to the fact that the caller was using a cell phone, it was answered at the Victoria Police Department’s Communication Centre. Joanne Appleyard was the first person who took the call. The man refused to provide his exact location and personal details. While Ms. Appleyard was speaking with the man, building rapport, Ms. Hesser, Ms. Aldridge, and Mr. Linley began liaising with front-line police officers, and conducting an extensive background investigation in an attempt to identify the man and to determine his location.

As a result of Ms. Appleyard’s years of experience, she was able to obtain details as to where he was located. The man threatened to hang up several times, and she was able to keep him on the phone and draw other vital details from him including the fact that his daughter was on the way home from school. Using their expertise, Ms. Hesser, Ms. Aldridge, and Mr. Linley were able to pin-point the exact locations of the man and his daughter, despite the fact that the man provided some incorrect information. This team of dedicated Communications Centre Specialists worked together seamlessly to ensure the safety of those involved, as well as ensuring the safety of the public and the attending police officers. They carried these duties out over a prolonged period of time, until the responding Saanich Police Department officers arrived at the scene and were able to take over this critical incident.     

Congratulations to Ms. Leanne Aldridge, Ms. Joanne Appleyard, Ms. Nadja Hesser and Mr. Doug Linley for receiving the Chief Constable’s Unit Commendation.