Abbotsford Police Staff Sgt. Rick Stewart was recognized as the Officer of the Year during the department’s second annual Commendations Celebration on May 9.
Stewart was among dozens of individuals who were recognized for their exemplary service, sacrifice and contributions, characterizing the APD’s values of honour, integrity, courage and service. The awards honoured 37 officers (including two from other police agencies), nine professional support staff, and 21 members of the public.
Several people were recognized for their response during and after the stabbing incident last November at Abbotsford Senior Secondary in which 13-year-old Letisha Reimer was killed and her 14-year-old friend seriously injured.
Chief constable commendations went to:
• S/Sgt. J. Burrows, Det. T. Wheatley, Const. J. Uppal, J. Longhurst and L. Ward for their response to the stabbing;
• Const. D. Mitchell for exemplary and long-standing leadership to the emergency response team;
• Const. A. Odintsov for performing life-saving medical treatment on a gunshot victim;
• Const. D. Stevens for assisting in the rescue of a suicidal male; and
• Sgt. D. Sansalone, S. P. Dyck, Const. D. Mitchell, Const. K. Harder, Const. A. Odintsov, Const. T. Gump, Det. I. Alldritt, Const. T. Sales and Const. A. Wood for their work in a high-risk hostage situation.
Inspector commendations were presented to:
• Const. P Quaglia for response to the school stabbing;
• RCMP Const. M. Jordan and police service dog “Dave” for locating a kidnapped male;
• Constables T. Gump, C. McLellan, D. Heideman and R. Gray for performing life-saving measures on shooting victims;
• J. Longhurts and J. Wellwood for their efforts in saving the life of a New York citizen after a 911 call was placed in Abbotsford from an online friend of that person;
• Constables S. Savinkoff, J. Baskin, M. Lequesne and M. Ronningen for their quick apprehension of a suspect involved in the robbery and assault of an elderly man;
• C. Jung, F. Dooley, A. Kelly, V. Sidhu and K. Gayger for their self-initiated efforts to support 911 Awareness and Education Month;
• Detectives T. Demers, J. Parker and I. Parks for the investigation, identification and arrest of an arsonist;
• Constables J. Boonstra and C. Colgan (West Vancouver Police Department) for the investigation, arrest and conviction of a murder suspect; and
• Sgt. D. Wilding, Sgt. C. Wiebe, Const. S. Moore, Det. I. Parks and Const. A. Page for their dedication of service to the APD Ceremonial Unit.
Police board commendations went to the following citizens:
• K. Lachelt, C. Blatz, P. Thompson, R. Comeau, B. Cuthbertson, S. Hurley, S. Dowedoff, L. Burdeyny, D. Varnes and S. Roufosse for intervening in the stabbing incident at Abbotsford Senior;
• K. Funk for assisting in the rescue of a suicidal man;
• J. Copp for intervening and stopping a violent assault;
• G. Noske for assisting in the rescue of a man in a water-filled ditch following an accident;
• A. Bahraini for assisting and stopping a violent assault and detaining the male offender; and
• J. Kielstra, E. Schroeder, B. Bartsch, L. Woods, A. Woods, J. Jacobs and T. Dykman for assisting stranded motorists and police in the 2017 winter snowstorm.