The Annual Regina Police Service Awards, held on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, saw awards presented to more than 80 individuals, from the Police Service and the public. This is an annual event (since 2004) designed to recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions to the community, policing and public safety. The award categories are as follows:
Special Service Award – presented to persons for their volunteer work in the community,
Community Policing Award – presented for work such as problem-solving or crime prevention initiatives,
Meritorious Performance Award – presented for operational or investigative work well above the standard,
Teamwork Award – presented to a section, unit, project team or other group of members and external partners in recognition of superior teamwork attributes in accomplishing a significant goal, and
Chief’s Commendation – awarded in recognition of bravery or an exceptional contribution to the Service.
Here are the 2018 RPS Award recipients:
Chief’s Commendation – Miss Nahla Zaremba. Nahla was only eight years old, back on April 22, 2018, when she earned our admiration, and a nomination for a Chief’s Commendation. She was asleep when she heard a fire alarm in her apartment; she called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher there was a big fire. She gave her phone number and address, tried to persuade her mother to leave the apartment, put her puppy on a leash and went to the doorway of the building to wait for police and firefighters. Nahla’s Mom and other residents were helped to safety and accounted for. There was no loss of life in this incident. Nahla’s calm and courage prevented tragedy for her own family and others.
Teamwork Award – Cst. Kevin Harris, Cst. Stuart Keshane, Cst. Connor Haas, Cst. Tristan Manz and Cpl. Josh Potter. These officers are being celebrated for their work on a robbery file. On June 4th, 2018, just before 11:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to a robbery at a drug store on North Albert Street. An adult female had just confronted employees and robbed the store of drugs. Through investigation, police believed it to be the work of a woman charged in in a similar robbery from two weeks earlier. A canine team found this suspect walking in the same area. More investigation turned up clothing worn in the robbery which had been discarded in a recycling bin. In a very brief span of time, these officers used great investigative skills, communication and coordinated efforts –exactly what the teamwork award is meant to recognize.
Chief’s Commendation – Mr. Roger Irvine. On June 14th, 2018, police were dispatched to the bike path near the 3700 block of 17th Avenue, to assist on a call where it was reported someone had jumped into the creek and was not breathing. When police arrived others were there, including someone who’d helped to get the 17 year-old female victim to shore and then performed CPR on her. Witnesses in the area said they’d been walking when they heard a splash in the creek and saw someone floating in the water. The witnesses credited Mr. Roger Irvine with saving the life of the emotionally-distraught young woman, who’d attempted suicide by drowning.
Chief’s Commendation – Cst. Duley Ford and Cst. Russ Temple. On September 10th, 2018, our Communications Centre received a 9-1-1 call requesting police come to a house on Athol Street. Officers found a woman there who was in distress. She had collapsed, was struggling to breathe, and her heartbeat had slowed to the point where they could not locate a pulse. Believing her to be the victim of a drug overdose, Cst. Ford began chest compressions while Cst. Temple requested EMS as well as a supervisor with Naloxone. EMS arrived to take over, and by then Cst. Ford’s CPR efforts had re-established a weak pulse and shallow respirations. The woman was taken to hospital for follow-up treatment. The officers’ investigation confirmed that she had consumed drugs, although it isn’t known exactly what drug caused the near-fatal overdose. If it were not for these officers’ astute observations and quick actions, this situation might have had a very different outcome.
Chief’s Commendation – Mr. Carman Dodman. It was September 28th, 2018, late in the morning, and our officers were dispatched to Wascana Parkway and Ring Road for a potential suicide. We had received numerous calls about a woman hanging, by her hands, from the Wascana Parkway bridge over the Ring Road. As our officers were just arriving they learned the woman was now in a vehicle. She was persuaded to climb back to safety by a man who was driving on the Ring Road and quickly assessed the situation and the need for immediate action. Mr. Dodman placed himself in harm’s way by using his vehicle to block northbound traffic on the Ring Road. He then talked the victim, who intended to end her life, into climbing back over the rail. Our officers took the woman to hospital for treatment. Mr. Dodman took action when others did not; he is applauded for his intervention and actions which saved a person’s life.
Teamwork Award – Sheree Ortman (Insp. retired), Paul Tate (S/Sgt., retired), Todd Strueby (Sgt., retired), Cpl. Reynold Baer, Cst. Dave Wallace, Cpl. Richard Fraser, Cst. Mehgan Shaw, Sgt. Derek Stevely, Cpl. Chris Thacyk, Cst. Tanner Maurice, Staff Sgt. Chris Jackiw, Cpl. Cory Longhurst, Cst. Dave Krieger, Sgt. Adam Fraser, Cst. Chad Hesse, Cst. Colin Belcourt, Sgt. Shane Hoedel, Cst. Derek Redekopp, Cst. Justin Lockeridge, Sgt. Gary Giroux, Cst. Jordan Panchuk, Cst. Corrie Neufeld, Sgt. Shane Riddell, Cst. Trevor Popowich, Cst. Roger Wiebe, Sgt. Shelly Pelletier, Cst. Quinn Hanoski, Cst. Sheldon Tillotson, Sgt. Rob D’Andrea, Cst. Jann Saccaro, Cst. Mark Golaiy, Cpl. Sean Slater, Cst. Dave Adams, Cpl. Trent Struble, Cst. Grant Campbell, Cpl. Neil Henderson, Cst. Desiree Mills.
Brad Pentz Janelle Khan Dave Henry
Dean Fedor Craig Neely Kelly Onyskevitch
Al Hendren Robin Neufeld Tammy Pryznyk
Dwayne Gulka Brian Smith
Although the legislation to allow personal cultivation and possession of cannabis marihuana was due to come into effect on October 17th, there were times, earlier in the year, when it seemed as if people thought there were NO rules around cannabis. In January of 2018, there were approximately 20 illegal, so-called cannabis dispensaries in our city. In early January of 2018, then-Inspector Sheree Ortman put forward a proposal and operational plan to disrupt and dismantle these illegal dispensaries. The plan brought together partners from Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming, the RCMP, Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods or SCAN, and Prosecutions branch of Sask Justice. The project called for four phases: 1) a public education phase; 2) direct communication with the owner/operators of the dispensaries; 3) covert investigation and evidence gathering; and 4) enforcement. A number of operators closed their dispensaries right after the education and communication phases. Others faced criminal charges in connection with their illegal operations. We commend this group for an exceptional multi-agency effort, achieving the goal of dismantling illegal sales and distribution of controlled substances.
Teamwork Award – Staff Sgt. Blair Eckert, Sgt. Guy Criddle, Cst. Tyrell Deibert, Cst. Jarrod Creaser, Cst. Curtis Neufeld, Cst. Roger Wiebe, Cst. Keith Salamon, Cst. Leo von Falkenhausen, Cst. Chris Tunison, Cst. Stuart Keshane. COMMUNICATIONS: Regan Baisley, Michelle Malowany, Linda Shaw, Krista Mansbridge, Nora Hingell, Holly Matt, Nicole Schoenroth, Megan Preun, Christina Kurtz, Jill Eiswirth, and Kristin Seel.
This incident happened on May 2, 2016, when our Communications Centre got a call of a domestic-related assault in progress in a truck parked in the 400 block of McCarthy Boulevard North. A male was physically assaulting a female inside the truck. Responding officers located the truck, already on the move. The female victim was in obvious distress. As the officers activated emergency equipment, the truck accelerated away. Officers observed the male striking the victim repeatedly in the head. The victim tried, several times, to exit the moving truck, but she was pulled back inside by the driver. The truck eventually made its way out of the city, with Regina police in pursuit. During this time, the Communications Centre notified the RCMP and Moose Jaw Police Service of the incident and the direction of travel. As the truck slowed to make a turn onto Highway #1, it collided with marked Regina Police Service cars. At that point, the victim was able to jump from the passenger side door of the truck. Police discontinued the pursuit to call EMS and aid the victim. The truck continued westbound on Highway #1 and was located, abandoned in a ditch, by Moose Jaw Police Service. The driver was located nearby, arrested and charged. This event exemplifies the best in communication, police tactics and coordinated effort…all in the face of a dynamic, rapidly-unfolding situation.
Special Service Award – Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association, represented by: Jessica Yakemchuk, Cheryl Sproat, Amy Rein, Heather Hanoski, Jacqueline Patron, Kelly Moens, and Kathy Posten.
There are many people in Regina – and elsewhere in the world – who can say they are graduates of the Regina Police Service Citizens’ Police Academy. Our records show the Regina Police Service sponsored its first Citizens’ Police Academy in March 1986. It was a concept that originated in England and, as far as we know, was first adopted in North America in Orlando, Florida. The Regina Police Service Citizens’ Police Academy is believed to have been the first such program in Canada. Twenty to 25 citizens would meet once a week for eleven weeks to learn about various aspects of police work. The program began with only one session per year, then expanded by the 1990’s to include two sessions, of two classes each. We are now into our 33rd year, and none of this would have been sustainable without a dedicated and knowledgeable group of volunteers known as the Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association, who assist with coordinating and hosting each class.
Meritorious Performance Award – Cpl. Steve Wyatt and PSD Jax. Today we are pleased to present a Meritorious Service Award to one of our Canine teams, Corporal Steve Wyatt, and his partner, Police Service Dog, or PSD, Jax. Corporal Wyatt has been a canine officer for over half of his career with the Regina Police Service. Steve is working now in our stolen auto unit, but he and Jax were pretty much joined at the hip for about nine years, from 2010 to 2019. Jax is now retired…Steve still has a few years to go. Nine years of police work is a long time for a Police Service Dog; they are well-looked after, but they also work long hours, sometimes in tough conditions. You wouldn’t blame them if they slow down a bit as they age. Jax seems to defy the pattern (Steve, too, actually). Last year, on the long weekend on May, while most citizens of Regina were enjoying the first long weekend of the Spring, Corporal Wyatt and Jax were directly involved in eleven arrests, resulting in 26 charges. The cases involved a little bit of everything: a robbery with a firearm, an assault on a taxi driver, break and enters, and stolen vehicles. Not bad for a senior (we mean Jax, not Cpl. Wyatt).
Chief’s Commendation – Mr. Terran Krahenbil. On October 25th, 2018, our officers were dispatched to the Delta Hotel on Saskatchewan Drive for a report that a security officer was involved in a physical struggle with a woman who had a firearm and that the security officer had disarmed the suspect. Police arrived to take a female suspect into custody and learned that security officer, Terran Krahenbil, was just finishing a shift and noticed a person on hotel property who had earlier been asked to leave. This interaction occurred near the pedway to the parkade. There were other people in the pedway at the time. As Mr. Krahenbil turned to go back toward the hotel, he heard five or six “bangs’ and realized he was being shot at. He rushed toward the suspect and took her to the ground. He believed the firearm to be real and it was not until he had the suspect under control that he realized the firearm was a black and silver metal handgun-style pellet gun…very real in its appearance and weight. As police took custody of the female suspect they found an improvised (real) firearm, ammunition, used syringes and numerous items of stolen property. The female suspect faced a number of charges including several firearms-related charges. Mr. Krahenbil, at great risk to his own safety, took action to stop an armed suspect. His courage and quick actions earn our thanks and a Chief’s Commendation.
Teamwork Award – Sgt. Derek Stevely,Cpl. Sean Slater, Cst. David Adams, Cst. Chad Hesse, Cst. Dave Krieger, Cst. Trevor Popowich, Cst. Sheldon Tillotson, Staff Sgt. Chris Jackiw, Cpl. Chris Thacyk, Cst. Chad Sebastian, Ms. Danielle Fornwald and Ms. Cheryl Brady.
This Teamwork Award results from a complex drug trafficking/public safety/firearms investigation that began in July 2018. This project was created to address the influx of fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine in our community, as well as firearms. Several suspects were identified through investigation, including a principle supplier in British Columbia. Five local drug traffickers were identified and became the focus of enforcement activities. Over the course of this investigation and the ensuing arrests, police seized numerous firearms including several handguns, tasers, shotguns, 1600 rounds of ammunition; various drugs including fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine; currency, and paraphernalia associated with drug trafficking. Six individuals were charged with a total of 52 charges. This award is presented in recognition of your exceptional teamwork which led to a successful conclusion of a multi-jurisdictional, illicit-drug investigation.
The Regina Police Service offers thanks and congratulations to all our award winners!