Chief of Police for Sault Ste. Marie & Prince Township, Robert Keetch began opening remarks for the 29th Annual Sault Ste. Marie Police Service & Police Services Board Community Programmes Night, by sharing a history lesson with the gathered crowd of dinner guests. “The history of policing dates back to the early 1800’s when Sir Robert Peel developed the first structure for a police force.” British statesman & Prime Minister (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) is considered to be the father of modern policing.
The Delta Waterfront played host to an evening where delicious food, awards, and an appreciative police organization honoured citizens, police officers, volunteers, and community advocacy groups.”A strong police services should, at all times, maintain a relationship with citizens & community volunteers.” adding “It is further incumbent upon citizens to support community wellness.”
The 29th Community Programmes Night was an opportunity for Policing in Sault Ste. Marie to recognize police officers, business & community partners, and individual citizens who have stepped forward to support a safe community to live and work in. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is a place where volunteering is a way to build community capacity. Chief Keetch shared “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.” Chief Keetch spoke to the issue of volunteering by sharing that a strong volunteer base creates meaningful dialogue, and is a conduit to elevating issues which are priorities for its’ citizens. “It is an honour and absolute privilege to be here, serving the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie, as your Chief of Police.”
One of the distinguished guests, Dr.Hugh Russell, community safety consultant, and expert in community policing, received a ‘Chief Coin’, one of 53 Coins awarded over the years, to police officers, and citizens who have been selected by Chief of Police for specific areas of outstanding service. Dr. Hugh Russell is described by Chief Keetch “as a friend, mentor, and leader in the field of community mobilization and community policing.
Staff Sergeant Jane Martynuck, Support Services & Media Relations, Sault Police, introduced the Chief Coin recipients by sharing that “Chief Coins are treasured and respected as an acknowledgment for service, hand-picked by the Chief of Police.” The Chief Coins have a rich military history, dating back to the Second World War.
There were over thirty recipients for awards of recognition presented at the 29th Annual Community Programmes Night. Recipients were from a wide cross-section of community organizations, schools, local businesses, individual citizens and police officers.
As the model for policing evolves, looking to a future where empowered citizenry support initiatives like community policing, safe spaces and places, as found in the downtown Gore Street Community Resource Centre, Chief Keetch is mobilizing his team. ” We have the ability to transform & transition policing strategies in our community.” shared Chief Keetch. “Sault Ste. Marie is an amazing place to live. There are a great many stories of collaboration, community engagement, citizen action.
Sault Police Services would also like to thank these community minded business for their help.
Hollow Metal & Architectural
Superior 7 Advertising
On the evening of the 25th of February 2015, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Board hosted the 29th Annual Police Community Programs Night.
Last evening over 100 persons and agencies were recognized for their contribution and assistance to our community.
The Police Service works closely with many businesses, agencies and service clubs to ensure our community is a safe one.
In addition, the Police Service and the Police Services Board also presented a number of awards.
In conjunction with the Kinsmen, who generously support the Elmer the Safety Elephant Program, as well as the Presents for Paeds campaign, two schools were recognized for practicing the Elmer Safety Tips, such as look both ways before crossing the street.
The schools recognized are:
-Conseil Scolaire Catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (Former Notre Dames Des Ecole) -20 years accident free
-Our Lady of Lourdes- 25 years accident free
The Service and Police Services Board also presented plaques to the following persons for their contributions to the Service and Community:
-Jason and Rebekah of Pet Valu on Second Line West for their continuous and generous donation of food for Police Service Dog Justice
-Constable Alison Kirkpatrick of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and Constable Monique Baker of the Ontario Provincial Police for starting and maintaining “Operation All Dressed Up”.
-Dennis Tatisciore and Andrew Sarlo from S&T Group as well as Jeff Avery from Avery Construction for their generous donation in funds and workmanship for the transformation of the Neighbourhood Resource Center (NRC) on Gore Street. In addition these gentleman were also instrumental in bringing other businesses who donating to the NRC as well.
The following persons were presented with an award of commendation for their role in assisting with solving crime in our community:
-Mark Richardson for his efforts in assisting with the apprehension of theft suspect
-Paul Hebert Junior for his efforts in stopping an impaired driver
-Felicia Legros for her efforts in assisting with the apprehension of an impaired driver
-Mike Armitage for his efforts in assisting with the apprehension of an impaired driver
-Gene Wesselius for his efforts in assisting with the apprehension of the theft suspects
-Mitch Reinholtz for his efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Todd Robert for his efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Meurwyn Jeffreys for his efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Brendan Brooks for his efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Chris Barill for his efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Patrick O’Donnell for his efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Katherine O’Donnell for her efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Ashley Westbrook for her efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Mike Barbeau for his efforts in the apprehension of a robbery suspect
-Jennifer and Don MacDonald for their efforts in the apprehension of a break and enter suspect
-Tim Murphy for his efforts in the apprehension of a break and enter suspect.
This year Chief Keetch presented the Chief’s Coins to several persons at the supper.
Three officers were presented coins for their work on a drug project.
In addition, Constable Potter, Constable Runco and a member of the public, Ivy Adam, were recognized for performing CPR on a male earlier this month at a Greyhound game. We are happy to report the male is doing fine thanks to the efforts of these three.
Thank you again to our community and community partners and we look forward to the successes 2015 will bring.