Five police officers from across the province have been recognized with Solicitor General Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards – and three of them are from the Abbotsford Police Department.
“That’s a pretty good day for us,” remarked APD spokesman Ian MacDonald after the awards were announced Sunday.
Const. Davin Turner and Const. Mark Zawadsky worked together with the APD Youth Squad, and were honoured for their work in defusing a serious rivalry between two groups of youth.
They implemented a conflict intervention strategy in 2009 that involved youth, family, friends, police, the Abbotsford Restorative Justice Action Association, the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Crown counsel and Abbotsford Community Services to address the conflict.
Over a period of many months, the intervention was successful in engaging the youth to focus on their educational goals, and put the conflict behind them.
“Turner and Zawadsky’s proactive approach represents the highest form of service to youth in the community of Abbotsford. Const. Turner and Const. Zawadsky are being honoured with the Wael T. Audi Youth Policing Award for their outstanding commitment to working with youth in their communities,” said a press release from the government caucus.
The anti-gang message delivered by Sgt. Mike Novakowski has been highlighted in the past. After a series of gang-related homicides in 2008 and 2009, he developed and implemented programs to promote positive life choices to youth, their parents and the community.
These campaigns included a series of high profile posters, videos, radio commercials and school presentations to thousands of Abbotsford students from elementary school right through to secondary school. Novakowski also generated provincial anti-gang awareness through campaigns that involved speaking to more than 3,000 parents. He used a seized Hummer as a rolling crime-prevention billboard. Novakowksi was being honoured with the Kenneth M. Lemckert Community Policing Award for “exemplary leadership in the area of community policing.”