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HomeNewsOrdinary people doing extraordinary things

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

By Olivia Timm

Photo: Chief for the Day student Emma Baker, Chief Murray Rodd, Police Services Board Chair Bob Hall and Inspector Dan Smith presenting Lauren Ray and Brandon Ray with Outstanding Citizen Awards.

The Peterborough Police Service honoured officers and citizens for going above and beyond at the 39th annual Knights of Columbus appreciation event Wednesday night in Peterborough. Host Bob Blakely says, “I think this was probably one of the best years we’ve had.”

Each year, the event honours citizens around the Peterborough area who make the community a safe place to live and to visit.

Const. Greg Robinson is one of those people. He was named Police Officer of the Year.

Grand Knight Bob Blakely presented the Police Officer of the Year award to Const.Robinson as his young daughter happily greeted him and wore his police hat –even hero’s need a hug once in a while.

Robinson was commended for his proactive approach and initiative in two incidents that resulted in approximately $100,00 in cash and drugs seized.

Blakely has hosted the event for 25 of its 39 great years. He says the event allows the police service and Knights of Columbus organization to set one day aside to commemorate the heroic moments of officers and citizens alike.

He says, “It is ordinary people doing extraordinary things – it always is. Until you’ve walked a mile in a copper’s shoes, you have no clue what these people have done. One day a year, we can put them on a pedestal and say, ‘Great job, thank you for your service.’”

Another key leader in the event in recent years is Lauren Gilchrist.

Gilchrist is the Media Relations and Communication Coordinator for the Peterborough Police Service, and has taken part in the Knights of Columbus appreciation night since she started with the service five years ago.

“It’s been taking place for 39 years, which is absolutely fantastic. The evening is all about the Knights of Columbus recognizing our police officers for going above and beyond in the past year, and it’s also our opportunity to thank local citizens who have provided outstanding assistance to our service in the last year, as well. So it’s really a two-fold event,” she explains.

The room was filled with local citizens and their families in support and celebration for the heroic and often traumatic situations they faced.

“All of these civilians, they’re really acting on gut instinct when they’ve helped us in a variety of situations – never thinking they’re going to get any acknowledgement for what they’ve done. So it is really a special evening for everyone involved.”

Patrick Smith is one of those civilians.

On September 25, 2016 Smith was golfing at Baxter Creek in the Township of Cavan Monaghan when he saw a pick-up truck driven by a woman leave County Road 28 and enter the ditch then continue into a pond on the golf course where it began to sink. The driver was injured and couldn’t get out of the sinking vehicle.  Smith dove into the pond and saved the woman who was drowning remaining in the frigid water supporting the victim’s head for more than 20 minutes until she was treated by paramedics and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Nominating officer PC Wayne Adam says if it were not for Mr. Smith’s quick actions and selfless intervention the woman would have lost her life as the truck was completely submerged within more than eight feet of water.

Mr. Smith suffered from mild hypothermia after his brave act and humbly left the scene without interacting with police.

However, nominating officer PC Adam says Mr. Smith’s heroic and selfless act should be recognized by our community as he exemplifies the altruism we can only for from citizens of our community.

The day started with Emma Baker a Grade 6 student at St. John Catholic Elementary School being sworn in as Chief for the Day.

A number of City Police officers were awarded for their years of service as well.

Blakely commented that this event is special in saying that some of these incidents pretty much bring a tear to your eye as recommending officers read aloud the stories.

After 25 years of hosting the event, Blakely says the inspiration to keep leading the event has not waivered.

“That’s why I’ve stayed in this all these years, is I can see the faces and I know what the faces look like on the bad guys, I know what the faces look like on the victims. I get it. I’m probably going to keep doing this until I can’t do it anymore.”

Here’s a full list of all the awards:

2017 Knights of Columbus Police Appreciation Night Awards:

Chief for a Day Student
Emma Baker, Grade 6 student at St. John Catholic Elementary School awarded by Const. Sean Nusink

Outstanding Citizen Recognition Awards:

The following citizens were commended for their outstanding assistance to the Peterborough Police Service:

Stephen Gordon
Brian Smith
Melanie Nardizzu
Dave Durand
Spenser Crowe
Cullen Smith
Patrick Smith
Shea Laing (absent)
Mandy Nadeau (absent)
Adrian Kingsbury
Daryl Graziano
Darren Mullin
Dorian Stillwell (absent)
Frank Kylie
Warren Brierley
Lauren Ray
Brandon Ray
Dr. Nick Feroze (absent)
Nanne-Mary Loiselle (absent)
Doug Lummiss
Lance Mitchell

Peterborough Police Services Board Commendation was awarded to Auxiliary Constable Max Milan who was absent

Police Partnership Recognition was awarded to Constable Scott Baumann of the Anishinabek Police Service

Police Exemplary Service Awards:
Special Constable Neil Curry – 20 Year Medal
Special Constable Bev Enright – 20 Year Medal
Special Constable Dennis Fairbairn – 20 Year Medal
Constable Alison Sharp – 20 Year Medal
Constable Jeff Clark – 30 Year Bar
Constable Daniel Lemay – 30 Year Bar
Constable Todd Silieff – 30 Year Bar
Sergeant Todd Blewett – 30 Year Bar
Sergeant Sean Quinlan – 30 Year Bar
Staff Sergeant Phil Davis – 30 Year Bar
Staff Sergeant John Lyons – 30 Year Bar
Inspector Larry Charmley – 30 Year Bar
Deputy Chief Tim Farquharson – 30 Year Bar

The Robert Lewis Bursary presentation by Police Services Board Chair Bob Hall
and Retired Staff Inspector Robert Lewis went to Constable Dillon Wentworth.

Police Officer of the Year was presented by Grand Knight Bob Blakely and awarded to Constable Greg Robinson

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