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Ninth Annual Police Hero of the Year Awards winners announced

May 31, 2024  By Blue Line Staff


May 31, 2024, Windsor, Ont. – The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) announced the winners of the ninth annual Police Services Hero of the Year Awards and honoured them during the PAO’s 92nd Annual Meeting and Convention, which was attended by representatives from 34 local police associations across the province.

“We appreciate the Ontarians who took the time to nominate their ‘Police Heroes’ in all regions of the province,” said Mark Baxter, President of the Police Association of Ontario. “The award submissions this year were truly impressive and speak volumes about the outstanding dedication, bravery, and compassion our members demonstrate each and every day.”

Congratulations to the 2024 award winners:

York Regional Police Service: 2024 On-Duty Difference Maker – Uniform Officer. This is awarded to an officer who has gone above and beyond the expectations of the job while on-duty. In 2022, an active shooter terrorized the Bellaria Residence condominium in Vaughan. The swift response of members of the York Regional Police Service exemplified selflessness and heroism.

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Melissa Styles, York Regional Police Service: 2024 On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee. This is awarded to a civilian police service employee who has gone above and beyond the expectations of the job while on-duty. Styles displayed remarkable resilience following the tragic loss of her husband, Cst. Garrett Styles, in the line of duty. Despite her personal grief, Melissa has devoted herself to helping others by volunteering tirelessly.

Stephen and Christine Douglas, Barrie Police Service: 2024 Extra Mile Award. (This award recognizes a uniform or civilian police service employee who has done a one-time, extraordinary act of kindness or bravery while off the job. The Douglas’s and their twelve-year-old daughter Autumn demonstrated exceptional bravery and courage in confronting a knife-wielding assailant, aiding their neighbour in peril.

Andrew Gough, London Police Service: 2024 Police Hero Honour Roll Award. This award pays homage to a police officer or civilian police service employee who has made a significant impact over the past decade. Gough, alongside his service dog, Riggs, has fostered dialogue among his colleagues about his mental health journey, stemming from an Operational Stress Injury (OSI) during his service. Recognizing the profound impact of service animals on OSI recovery, Capt. Gough founded Veterans and Everyday Heroes (V-EH!), a non-profit supporting OSI-affected individuals, particularly in obtaining service dogs.

Adam McEachern, York Regional Police Service: 2024 Community Role Model. (This award recognizes a police officer or civilian police service employee who has made a difference in their community while off-duty. Inspired by his son Caleb, who is on the autism spectrum, McEachern spearheads The Autism Heroes Endurance Challenge, raising funds for autism services and Special Olympics Ontario.


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