RCMP detachment (Troy Landreville, Vista Radio staff)
A few area police officers have been recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.
They were among the 114 whose bravery and dedication were celebrated at the 38th Annual Police Honours Night.
In total 30 Awards of Valour were handed out.
That’s the highest award for a police officer in B.C. It’s given to officers who exhibit “exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect others from harm.”
One went to Constable Nicholas Underhill of the Campbell River detachment, and another went to Port Hardy’s Corporal Christopher Voller.
While off duty, Underhill de-escalated and followed a volatile man who had pointed a loaded handgun at the constable’s head.
Voller jumped on board a moving fishing vessel in order to gain control of it and assess the condition of an unresponsive boater.
On top of that, 84 officers were given Awards of Meritorious Service, recognizing exemplary performance that answered the call to service in exceptional ways.
Among them was the Comox Valley detachment’s Constable David Thornson, Constable Russell Mante from the Sayward Detachment, who is now with the Campbell River office, and another officer from Campbell River whose name has been withheld.
Thornson saved a distraught woman from drowning in the Puntledge River, Mante searched for and gave aid to a hypothermic fisherman, and the unnamed officer searched through dense bush and heavy wet snow for a distraught male suffering from mental health issues.
“It takes a special kind of person to serve in law enforcement, those who know the dangers and challenges of their profession but remain committed to serve with pride and never shy away from their duty,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
He added the “honourees are examples of that commitment in action and on behalf of all British Columbians, we thank officers just like them all across the province for their immeasurable contributions to public safety.”