Atlantic Women in Law Enforcement held their 13th annual training conference in Campbellton, New Brunswick this past October 11-14, 2005. Campellton RCMP hosted a first class training event that was attended by over one hundred delegates from across the Atlantic Provinces. Among the participants there were representatives from the RCMP, municipal police,
Corrections Canada, National Parole Board, Military Police, Canada Post and others. Key figures present among the conference delegates included AWLE Present Cst. Chris MacNaughton and Deputy Chief Leanne Fitch of Fredericton Police Force.
One conference highlight was Captain James Albrecht’s presentation. Captain Albrecht was part of the initial response to the 9-11 disaster in New York. He spoke from his heart as he retold the events of that tragic day. This presentation left the group speechless but with tears in their eyes as they watched him struggle with his memories. The presentation touched on some key points,
he talked about how so many different people were able to work together to save lives regardless of rank, agency, or job position. He spoke about being prepared for something like this and how they had the plans in place and were able to call on them when needed.
Other valuable training the delegates received covered numerous topics, including cyber- stalking, profiling, emergency preparedness, media and children, and leadership. This year’s motivation came from Sgt. Marion Craig with the RCMP, Regina, Saskatchemwan. Sgt. Craigpresented her experience as a competitor in the Discovery Eco-challenge in Morocco, Africa with an amazing video presentation.
The conference followed tradition with a formal parade which was established 4 years ago, at the Fredericton Conference. The delegates marched downtown Campbellton to the Civic Center for the Awards banquet.
President Chris MacNaughton and Vice President Paula Raymond were on hand to present the following awards to the winners: Insp. Ruth McLea, RCMP Halifax, Nova Scotia for Officer of the Year, Cst. Shari Barna, Truro Police Service for Leadership, Sgt. Lise Rousell RCMP Grand Falls New Brunswick for Mentoring, Det. Susan Evans, Fredericton Police Force for Excellence in Performance. The Community Service award went to Cst. Catherine Hayward of Saint John Police Force. The Medal of Valour had two winners this year, Cst. Lynda Forget and Cst. Adelle Mainvelle both of RCMP Oromocto, New Brunswick.
Insp. Ruth McLea, Planning and Client Services Officer in “H” Division, was named Officer of the Year. She was recognized for Leadership, dedication, and professionalism, not only within the ranks of the RCMP but as a mentor and role model for all women in policing. She was also recognized for the many achievements and awards she has earned during the course of her 24 years career in “E”, “B”, and “H” Divisions as well as Headquarters in Ottawa.
Cst. Shari Barna was awarded the Leadership award for her fight for a provincial bill for mandatory testing of subjects who are involved in incidents of needle pokes of police officers. On May 10, 1999 Cst. Barna was poked with an infectious needle. On October 6, 2004 the bill was read and within 12 days Bill 125,” Mandatory Testing and Disclosure Act for the Province of Nova Scotia” was passed.
Sgt. Lise Roussel was awarded the Mentoring Award. She was recognized for her dedication to mentoring and helping others in the profession and in her community. Lise is a mother herself and can identify easily with the issues and concerns of women under her supervision. Lise is known as the “Dean” of all police women in “J” Division.
Det. Susan Evans of the Fredericton Police Force received the Excellence in Performance Award. Susan was a member of the K-9 unit for 6 years, now she is assigned to the Community Crimes Unit. Sue is described by her colleagues as a team player and can always be counted on to be there for her unit.
The Community Services Award was received by Cst. Cathy Hayward of the Saint John Police Force. Cathy has been with the force for 26 years and has been the driving force behind many successful community initiatives. Cathy works with the Neighbourhood Watch program and has been recognized on a national level and is requested by other policing agencies across Canada.
The Medal of Valour was awarded to Cst. Lynda Forget and Cst. Adelle Mainvelle for their response to a house fire. Both officers were able to work together to save a man’s life by dragging him out of a burning house, and beginning artificial respiration and CPR. Shortly afterwards the man began breathing on his own.The 2005 AWLE awards winners will have their names submitted to the Awards Committee for the International Association of Women Police for consideration with other nominees at the international level. The next International Association of Women Police conference will be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, September 17-21 2006.