EPS Wins Wolf Award
EPS is the first law enforcement organization ever to be considered for this national award.
On October 26, Chief Rod Knecht was proud to accept the Wolf Award for the
Edmonton Police Service’s work with Edmonton’s Indigenous community. EPS is the first law enforcement organization ever to be considered for this national award.
The Wolf Project is a grassroots Canadian initiative that was established to honour activities that serve to improve harmony between cultures. Winners are selected by a board of seven members located across Canada. EPS was recognized for the work of its Community Operations Support Unit and the Oskayak Police Academy, a two-week program for youth between the ages of 14 and 18 who self-identify as Indigenous.
“We take great pride in the amount of support we have from our community,” said Chief Rod Knecht. “It’s only because of our strong partnerships with community and government organizations that we’re able to offer the kinds of programs that make our police service unique in Canada.”
The EPS is proud to work with Amiskwaciy Academy, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, Métis Child and Family Services, Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton Catholic Schools, REACH Edmonton and Metro Continuing Education in running the Oskayak Police Academy.
EPS Wins International Human and Civil Rights Award
On October 15 at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) annual conference in San Diego, the Edmonton Police Service was honoured to receive the IACP Human and Civil Rights Award for its Emerging Communities Framework.
Last fall, as Syrian refugees began to arrive in Edmonton, the EPS Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Section developed a plan to reach out to this emerging community. Beginning in January 2016, Sgt. Gary Willits and Community Operations Coordinator Iman Saidi met with most government sponsored refugee families and some privately sponsored families that arrived in Edmonton. This initial engagement helped establish a relationship with the families and dispel fear and mistrust of police – an attitude that is common among those fleeing unstable political environments.
“Establishing police legitimacy in the community is what makes it possible for our members to do their job” says Natasha Goudar, Manager of the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Section. “And the community gives us that legitimacy because we earn it. We can’t demand it from them.”
With the full support of Chief Knecht, this Syrian refugee outreach plan was developed into an Emerging Communities Framework that will be applied across EPS to help build relationships with all new and emerging communities from all over the world. As part of the work of this Framework, the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Section has developed relationships with community partners who work closely with newcomer populations, coordinated staff training on the influences of PTSD in refugee families, assisted partner agencies with presentations and orientation classes for newcomers, worked with community partners to offer a Police Youth Engagement Program for young people from newcomer communities and helped with police investigations where a newcomer is directly or indirectly involved.
More awards than the Emmys
September 9-11, 2016, the Edmonton Police Service’s Canine Unit sent three handlers and their PSDs to Calgary to compete in the 2016 Canadian Police Canine Association trials.
As usual, our handlers represented the EPS to the fullest extent. This year, first year on the Canine streets Constable Jason Ellett and PSD Robbie achieved the highest award of “Top Dog”!
This year our PSDs were three of 29 competitors. PSD Evan and PSD Kane competed in both general duties and detection duties.
Cst. Wade Eastman and PSD/DDD Evan placed:
2nd in evidence search and
4th in detection.
Cst. Dennis Dalziel and PSD / DDD Kane placed:
2nd in detection
5th in tracking
5th in agility
3rd in criminal apprehension and
Cst. Jason Ellett and PSD Robbie placed:
3rd in evidence search
1st in building search
3rd in compound search
2nd in agility and
We have some special paws protecting Edmonton’s streets. Congratulations to our outstanding handlers and their PSDs on these remarkable standings!
Here’s a quick video of PSD Robbie showing off his fastest paws during the fun public day event.
A special thanks to the Calgary Police Service Canine Unit for hosting this event.
Air-1 Crew Receives Prestigious Awards
Edmonton Police Service Constables Chris Anderson and Tyler Tebbutt received the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Captain ‘Gus’ Crawford Memorial Aircrew of the Year Award for 2016.
Cst. Anderson was also named the ALEA Tactical Flight Officer of the Year (TFO). The awards were presented at the ALEA Expo in Savannah, Georgia on July 22, 2016.
Both awards were based on the pursuit and capture of two suspects in multiple incidents in early December 2015.* “Having our unit recognized with two awards is a great honour,” said Staff Sergeant Troy Carriere. “These awards reflect the professionalism, experience and perseverance our Air 1 members bring to work every day.”
Cst. Chris Anderson has been a member of the EPS for 11 years and has been a full time TFO for the past three-and-a-half years. Cst. Tyler Tebbutt has been a member of the EPS for eight years and a police pilot for the past five years.
The Captain ‘Gus’ Crawford Memorial Aircrew of the Year Award acknowledges a pilot and/or crewmember(s) whose flying efforts and proficiency characterize ALEA’s motto, “To Serve and Protect from the Air.”
Captain Gus Crawford was a law enforcement aviation pioneer and the commanding officer of the New York Police Department (NYPD) Aviation Bureau at the time of its founding.
The TFO award identifies and recognizes a flight crewmember whose performance in the operation of tactical equipment and/or coordination of ground-based assets was exemplary and resulted in the successful conclusion of a call or mission.
*In December 2015, Southwest Division patrol members witnessed a truck collide with their parked police vehicle and flee southbound on 109 Street from 82 Avenue. Upon fleeing the area, the occupants abandoned the vehicle and attempted to steal other vehicles at gunpoint. AIR 1, crewed by Cst. Chris Anderson and Cst. Tyler Tebbutt, was able to locate the abandoned truck and the two suspects in a residential neighborhood and directed police to their location. Prior to being apprehended by ground units, the two suspects stole another vehicle and fled the area. The criminal flight response was terminated, but AIR 1 maintained visual contact as the vehicle drove in excess of 150 km/hr through south Edmonton with zero regard for public safety. With AIR 1 watching, the vehicle came to a stop at a convenience store and its occupants committed an armed robbery. The vehicle again fled the area into Sherwood Park, where the AIR 1 crew coordinated a successful pit manoeuver by a Canine Unit, leading to the arrest of the two occupants.
EPS Member Shawna Grimes wins 2016 Daughter of the Year award
Earlier this year, coworkers secretly nominated Acting Inspector Shawna Grimes for the 2016 Daughter of the Year awards, knowing she’d be embarrassed by the attention. But her track record speaks for itself, and nobody was surprised that she won—except maybe Shawna herself.
A member of EPS for 23 years, Shawna has held positions in Downtown Division Patrol, Training Section, Police Communications Branch, Sexual Assault Section and Homicide Section, of which she became the first female Staff Sergeant. Shawna also worked in a four-year secondment with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).
She is a member of the Victims of Homicide Support Society and sits on the board of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE)—a volunteer position she continues to hold even though she no longer works in the Sexual Assault Section. “I didn’t realize how bad it was until I worked there,” she says of her time in Sexual Assault. “That crime is horrific, and the impact extends through generations.” She notes that even today, social biases and stigma make sexual assault one of the most misunderstood and underreported crimes.
As a mother of two teenage girls, Shawna does feel connected to the Daughters Day initiative. “It’s not just a women’s issue, it’s everyone’s issue. If we can create equality in general, for people of every gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion, the world will be a better place for my girls.”
Since 2012, Daughters Day has recognized inspiring women who make a difference in Edmonton in areas such as the arts, business, volunteerism, education, health, human rights, public service, science and sports. EPS Constable Mona Gill received a Daughter of the Year award in 2013.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Edwards / Edmonton Journal.
Sgt. Grant Jongejan receives the 2015 Kiwanis Top Cop Award
Sergeant Grant Jongejan has coached high school football for nearly two and one half decades; 20 years with St. Francis Xavier High School and recently at Ross Shepherd High School.
Over the years, Grant has exposed other EPS members to the triumphs and challenges of the gridiron. T/A Staff Sergeant Steven Maertens-Poole, who nominated Grant, says, “In addition to taking on the duties of a high school football coach Grant actively recruits other EPS members to volunteer their time. His leadership and enthusiasm resulted in a total of five EPS members having a positive impact on hundreds of student athletes over the past two decades.”
Lee Burak, is a teacher and former football coach at St. Francis Xavier and has enjoyed a relationship with Grant, both on and off the field. “Grant is rare, and our community is so blessed with his service. It is so fitting we can honour one who honours us every single day with his passion and commitment to our community. This is a humble person who never seeks to receive accolades, he so richly deserves. I am so very proud to call him a friend.”
Grant started with EPS in 1995. Today, he is a respected Sergeant with the Bomb Detail of the Tactical Section within EPS. He also serves as Chair of the Tri Service (EPS, Edmonton Fire Rescue and Alberta Health Services) response group and is currently President of the Canadian Explosive Technician’s Association. He is described as an exceptional team player who will take the lead and assist others any way he can.