Blue Line

2023 Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award presented to Saint-Eustache Police Service

August 21, 2023  By Government of Canada

Aug. 21, 2023, Ottawa, Ont. – Building safe communities starts with keeping youth out of the criminal justice system. Police services and non-profit organizations across Canada are at the forefront of innovations that divert vulnerable youth away from a life of crime. That is why the Department of Justice collaborates with the Canadian Police Association (CPA) and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) in awarding the Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award for 2023.

Yesterday evening at the CACP biennial conference, Constable Jessica Bonneville of the Saint-Eustache Police Service in Quebec was presented with the award for her leadership in the Toucher le sommet project. The prize recognizes her innovative and creative ways of dealing with youth in contact with the criminal justice system.

“Youth are the future of our country. ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and the police are a proud and important part of that community. While there must be consequences to one’s actions, we believe it’s important to explore options beyond incarceration and the justice system, particularly when it involves our youth. This award celebrates those who innovate and continuously strive to find solutions focused on respect, healing and support through a community-based response to youth justice. Congratulations to this year’s laureate,” said Chief Danny Smyth, President of Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

The Toucher le sommet project is a collaborative effort between the Saint-Eustache Police Service and non-profit organization Persévérons ensemble. Each year, the Saint-Eustache Police Service trains a group of local high school students, who face a variety of challenges, to teach them civic duty, build trust with law enforcement, and dissuade criminal behaviour. The project focuses on the rehabilitation and reintegration of youth who have been found guilty of a criminal offence. It has succeeded in reducing reoffending and keeping the community safe, while teaching participants skills that will help them manage their lives and fostering perseverance towards a goal. The project culminates in a climb to the summit of Mont-Tremblant, where youth and officers alike can demonstrate how they have grown and persevered through challenges.


“Front-line police personnel across Canada are working within their communities to pioneer new and innovative approaches to help at-risk youth, and the Canadian Police Association is incredibly proud to work with the Department of Justice to recognize these accomplishments which too often go unrecognized. This year’s recipient, from the Service de police de la Ville de Saint-Eustache, exemplifies the excellent work that is being done in this field, and is representative of civilian and sworn law enforcement members who regularly go above and beyond the scope of their duties. It is an honour for us as the country’s largest law enforcement advocacy organization to help celebrate Constable Bonneville’s work,” said Tom Stamatakis, President of Canadian Police Association.

As this year’s winner, the Saint-Eustache Police Service will receive $10,000 from the Youth Justice Fund to support its work with Toucher le sommet. The Department of Justice is proud to support the innovative work being done by its partners and congratulates this year’s winner.

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