Toronto Police’s 2016 Officer of the Year awarded
The Toronto Region Board of Trade announced Staff Sergeant Joseph Matthews the winner of the 2016 Toronto Polices Services Officer of the Year award.
The Board of Trade made the announcement at their annual reception Tuesday night.
Staff Sergeant Matthews of Intelligence Services had previously been selected Police Office of the Month in August 2016.
In August 2015, two people died in a shooting at Muzik, a nightclub in Liberty Village.
Staff Sergeant Matthews was first responder to the scene and the only officer. At Dufferin Street and British Columbia Road, he stopped behind a taxi with a shooting victim inside. The victim had been shot three times and was bleeding heavily. Staff Sergeant Matthews pulled him out of the car, started administering first aid, and called an ambulance.
While waiting for the ambulance, Staff Sergeant Matthews, alone and in uniform, was faced with a hostile crowd. At one point, a woman approached him, yelling at him and punching him in the face. Rather than arresting the woman and risking the life of the victim, he continued first aid and tried to deescalate the situation verbally. Eventually, the woman left the scene.
Once the ambulance arrived, Staff Sergeant Matthews accompanied the victim to the hospital, still covered in his blood. The victim was in a critical but stable condition and survived.
Toronto Police says Staff Sergeant Matthews has demonstrated “outstanding bravery, professionalism and dedication to duty”.
The Police Officer of the Year award was created by the Board of Trade in 1967. Every month, one officer is named Officer of the Month based on bravery, humanitarianism, investigative work, and policing skills. Those monthly winners are then re-evaluated by a judge’s panel and one officer is awarded Police Officer of the Year.