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 civilian members were recognized. The awards were presented in two categories – the Police Exemplary Service Medal, followed by Chief and Deputy Chief Constables’ Commendations.
One of those recipients was Constable Hayley Swann. Constable Swann received the Deputy Chief Constable Commendation after her actions at a call on November 18th, 2018.
In the late afternoon, patrol officers responded to Hillside Avenue for a report of a teenager who was threatening self-harm. The teenager climbed onto the roof of a building and an attending patrol officer engaged her in conversation. Several other resources attended including members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team who are specially trained in rappelling and high angle techniques. Constable Swann was able to move to an interior position adjacent to the teenager and noticed that a family member of the teenager was able to climb through an open window and out onto an elevated positon. The teenager became more agitated and attempted to pull away from the family member.
Constable Swann immediately recognized the significant danger to both parties and, knowing she would put herself at risk, climbed out onto the roof and began speaking with the teenager. Constable Swann’s natural compassion and patience allowed her to bond with the teenager, eventually being able to hold her hand. Constable Swann maintained her position on the roof and continued to build a bond of trust with the teenager and ultimately was successful in getting her to come down from the roof so she could receive the help she required.
Constable Swann’s actions are a reflection of her professionalism and integrity and were keeping with the highest traditions on the Victoria Police Department.
Congratulations to Constable Hayley Swann on her commendation.