At the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police’s most recent Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards dinner on Nov. 22, a trio of RCMP officers representing Shamattawa, Nelson House and God’s Lake Narrows were recognized for their service.
Const. Julie Coté, Sgt. George William Whelan and Special Const. Ryan Jack Linklater all walked away from this ceremony in Winnipeg with an award to call their own and plenty of praise from their fellow officers.
“Police work is hard work, and these officers have taken it above and beyond when it comes to community safety and engagement,” said Scott Kolody, RCMP Assistant Commissioner and president of the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police. “I am proud to call these officers colleagues.”
Beyond simply fulfilling their duty to keep the peace, each officer was recognized for their extensive community involvement, volunteer work and overall drive to make the area surrounding their detachment a better place to live.
For example, this past year Const. Coté spearheaded a number of programs in Shamattawa aimed at promoting female empowerment through working with organizations like the Girl Guides of Canada and Awasis Child and Family Services.
This included sending 15 local girls to Caddy Lake Girl Guide Camp for a full week to learn about important values like independence, communication and social skills.
In Nelson House, Special Const. Linklater is known for being closely involved with the community schools, engaging with students and teachers on a weekly basis.
He’s even responsible for organizing a number of programs designed to curb negative behaviour and increase community safety, like putting together a bike rodeo after an impaired driver killed three local boys out riding their bikes in April 2018.
In God’s Lake Narrows, Sgt. Whelan is dedicating himself to helping residents with addictions issues, having worked with community leaders to develop a traditional healing camp and a domestic-violence focused family camp that involved 80-100 participants.
Since the original healing camp was held, the local RCMP in God’s Lake Narrows have experienced a significant decline in calls for service, especially with those battling an addiction to methamphetamines.
“These officers have demonstrated exceptional dedication to public safety in their communities and it is an honour to present them with these awards,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen in a Nov. 23 press release. “Their dedication has made a real difference in the lives of Manitobans, helping to keep our communities safe.”
Beyond the 10 officers who were recognized at this Nov. 22 award dinner, more than 150 police officers in Manitoba have received an Excellence in Law Enforcement Award in the 10 plus years that this prize has existed.