Ontario’s police professionals celebrated at Police Hero awards ceremony
Police heroes from across the province were celebrated recently at the Police Services Hero of the Year Awards during a ceremony in Kitchener held in conjunction with the Police Association of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting.
Each year, the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) encourages Ontarians to submit their local heroes for the awards program. This year, the PAO says it received a record-breaking 325 nominations.
“It’s testament to the integrity and character our service members have across the province” said Bruce Chapman, PAO president. “I am proud to serve with people who contribute positively to their communities every day.”
This year’s award winners are: Const. Elizabeth Skelding and Const. Amy Finn.
Skelding, from the Waterloo Regional Police Service, won the On-Duty Difference Maker award. Finn, from Chatham-Kent Police, won the Community Role Model award.
Finn was the first female officer hired by Chatham-Kent Police in 1988. She helps her community through volunteer work and outreach. Skelding was stabbed by an assailant while saving a woman from a domestic assault.
“It was not easy choosing a winner,” Chapman said. “The nominations we received often came with compelling, emotional and deeply personal stories. This is a proud night for Ontario’s police services.”
Finn retired from the Chatham-Kent Police after 30 years in the service on April 26. She dedicated her off-duty time to community activity, most recently a multiple sclerosis walk in Chatham. Finn was also nominated for the Community Role Model award last year.
It has been widely noted that Skelding’s prompt actions contributed to saving a woman’s life in 2015 after the woman’s boyfriend attempted to murder her, and stabbed Const. Skelding in the process. Skelding returned to active duty a year after the incident.
Founded in 1933, the PAO is the “official voice and representative body for Ontario’s front-line police personnel,” and provides representation, resource and support for 50 police associations. The PAO’s membership is comprised of over 18,000 police and civilian members.