Calgary, AB,

Calgary Police Commission Announces 2015 Community Policing Award Winners

*Winner names and details are embargoed until 7 p.m.

Tonight, at its annual community dinner, the Calgary Police Commission is presenting five awards to Calgarians who have made positive contributions to community policing in the city.

The Calgary Police Commission Community Policing Awards are designed to recognize citizens for contributing to creating a safer city through a commitment to community policing.

“This year, we are presenting five awards to deserving Calgarians who have worked with the Calgary Police Service unselfishly, and in the spirit of community policing, to improve the ability of the Calgary Police Service to serve our city,” said Rodney Fong, Calgary Police Commission Chair. “We hope our winners’ efforts inspire others to take action in whatever way they can to enrich our community.”

The community dinner is an annual event sponsored by Encana. The event gives leaders of community associations and cultural groups the opportunity to sit down with members of the Calgary Police Commission and the Calgary Police Service to discuss community policing in our city.

Media are invited to attend the award ceremony beginning at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Glenmore Inn & Convention Centre at 2720 Glenmore Trail S.E. Photographs can be taken at the event or obtained from the Commission on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.




Winners of 2015 Calgary Police Commission Community Policing Awards

Alicia Tong, Auxiliary Cadet
Award Category: Individual, Volunteer

Alicia Tong is a member of the Calgary Police Auxiliary Cadet Program. Her dedication to her community has been described as second to none. As an example, prior to joining the Auxiliary Cadet program in March 2014, Auxiliary Cadet Tong had already completed more than 900 volunteer hours with the Calgary Police Service.

Her volunteer activities have included participating in the Alberta Peace Officer Memorial, the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police Public Safety Unit training, various Calgary Police Service conferences, numerous role playing scenarios for officers in training, and Operation Christmas Presence. She also finds time each year to contribute to other organizations within the City of Calgary, such as the Calgary Marathon.

Heather Cowie, Manager of the East Region for the City of Calgary Recreation Department
Award Category: Individual, Compensated

Heather has played a vital role supporting and strengthening the International Avenue Beat Team and the Integrated School Support Team. She recognized that the Calgary Police Service has many units that focus on child intervention and arranged for police members to connect with children- free of charge- at City of Calgary recreation facilities in the east region. She also arranged for the International Avenue Beat Team and mountain bike members to receive specialized training so that they could better engage children.

Heather is an active organizer of community events. She has been part of a team that organized a theater in the park evening in the Forest Lawn neighbourhood which was attended by numerous families and the International Avenue Beat Team and she hosted a surprise ‘fun day’ for more than 300 elementary children involved in the Integrated School Support Team. These events help strengthen the relationships between the CPS and the City of Calgary and aide in the healthy development of children and youth in our community.

The Alex- Pathways to Housing
Award Category: Community Organization

The Alex Pathways to Housing is based on the Housing First Model, where individuals who are chronically homeless and have a major mental illness are provided with a stable and safe place to live and are offered treatment for their mental illness, addiction issues, and physical health needs.

The Alex is a true community partner. The organization readily lends its expertise and resources to create partnerships that enhance the wellbeing, inclusivity, and safety of Calgary communities. These partnerships provide an innovative approach to supporting and empowering vulnerable citizens with the holistic services they need to reduce their interactions with the justice system.

Grace Chan, Cadet Chief
Award Category: Youth

Grace Chan is currently the Cadet Chief in the Calgary Police Cadet Corps. In fact, she is the first female Cadet Chief of the corps. She receives this award based on her role as a strong leader and role model for other cadets.

Cadet Chief Chan values teamwork, leadership and service to the community. She has given her time to help develop future youth programs within the Calgary Police Service Youth Mentorship Unit. Cadet Chief Chan also represented the Calgary Police Cadets at a cadet leadership camp in Halifax and recently took part in an Aboriginal youth camp aimed at providing guidance and leadership to youth from the Aboriginal community.

She has also served as an ambassador at CPS community events such as the Youth Leader at Junior Police Academy, a graduation ceremony of Edmonton Police Cadets, the Remembrance Day Parade, the Stampede Parade, the Immigrant of Distinction Awards, the Calgary Police Foundation Big Event, and the Calgary Police half-marathon.

Michael Bertin, Constable
Award Category: CPS Sworn Member

Constable Michael Bertin has an impressive 35 year policing career, with the past five years as a member of the Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Support Team.  

He started this position managing 75 volunteers who provided support to approximately 10,000 victims of crime and additional victims who had experienced a traumatic event. Once Constable Bertin realized the number of volunteers was not sufficient to meet the increasing demand for supports, he took action by developing a model of recruitment that doubled of the number of volunteers. Not only did Cst. Bertin bring the program to a full slate of volunteers for the first time in 15 years, but today the program even has a waitlist of volunteers eager to become involved.

Cst. Bertin recognizes that retention of experienced members is just as important as recruiting new members. That’s why he promotes an environment that fosters mentoring, respect, and appreciation for the dedication and commitment of the volunteers. This has led to a higher retention rate of these skilled, experienced volunteers, who continue to serve our community.