Blue Line

Bell honoured with QEII Platinum Jubilee Award

May 17, 2023  By Heather Cameron, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

May 17, 2023, Taber, Alta. – At the Taber Police Association Police Ball on April 22, Public Safety Communications Manager Dana Bell received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.

“I am very honoured to be a recipient of this award,” Bell said. “Receiving this award confirms what I already knew; that this was the career I was meant for.”

The medal, Bell says, was created in 2022 by the Government of Alberta through the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Act. It was awarded to 7000 deserving Albertans through collaboration with provincial partners to ensure an equitable representation of all regions and all fields of endeavor.

“It was seen as a tangible way to publicly acknowledge the work and dedication of Albertans, who are actively contributing to our province and country and to pay tribute to the example set by Her Late Majesty throughout her lifetime,” Bell said.

Bell said that when she was presented the medal by Taber Police Chief Graham Abela, he said that it was for “moving towards the implementation of the next generation of 911, increasing capacity in dispatch and communications for partner agencies in the private industry, maintaining a learning organization, for ensuring employee wellness, and keeping a positive attitude in ensuring the community and the community’s police officers are safe.”

“I am the Public Safety Communications Manager and my main responsibilities are managing the 911 dispatch centre and its staff,” Bell said. “I started my career as a Communications Operator in October of 2001. When I started with the police service almost 22 years ago, my mother was the Victim Services Coordinator and my dad was a Justice of the Peace. As a young family we really wanted to move back to Taber and my parents both encouraged me to apply for a Communications Operator position believing I would be a good fit. I was promoted in 2005 as an in-scope supervisor and became the Public Safety Communications Manager in 2015.”

The award was especially meaningful to Bell because her mother, Helen Wentz, was a previous recipient of the award. Wentz, Bell said, served as the first, and only, female mayor of Taber after being on council for a number of years. Bell said that Wentz has been an avid volunteer in the community and has served on many non-profit organization boards over the years.

“My mom is extremely proud of me in everything I do, however it was a special honour to receive the award in her presence,” Bell said. “I love everything about being part of the police service, and the people I work with. We cheer each other on when we succeed and encourage each other to get back up when we fail. Being recognized for doing something you love, doesn’t get much better than that.”

– The Taber Times

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