The Atlantic Women in Law Enforcement (AWLE) 26th annual the training conference was held in Moncton, N.B. from November 6th to 9th, 2018. During the training conference approximately 200 women from 33 different law enforcement agencies located East of Ontario were in attendance. The theme of the conference was “LEAD-HER-SHIP from within; Explore your Influence.” and was hosted by J Div. RCMP. The Co-Chairs for the conference were Chantal Farrah and Chantal Ouellee. Dusne Rodier was one of the original Co Chairs but unfortunately was transferred before she could see all the work she had done come to fruition.
The keynote speaker was Senator Beverly Busson, retired RCMP Commissioner, who captivated the audience with her wisdom on leadership, sharing of the challenges she encountered early career plus providing insight into the evolution and change in the area of policing in Canada today. International Canadian Long Drive Champion Lisa “long ball” Vlooswyk was a keynote speaker that brought charisma, energy and engagement to conference attendees while facilitating a discussion on drive, determination, leadership, risk taking and supporting women in traditionally male dominated working fields.
Mireille Allain and Sherry Dryden both from J Div. RCMP, spoke on Leading Wellness in a policing culture. Inspector Cathy Bawden from Durham Regional Police Service spoke on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Cathy has faced many personal and professional obstacles and has used each experience as a course of learning and inspiration to champion diversity, inclusion and equity efforts in the workplace. A/Supt. Pauline Gray of Toronto Police Services and her sister RCMP Supt. Janis Gray spoke about their career paths while serving with their respective organizations. The siblings shared their different life experiences while on their path to fulfil their dreams of being police officers. Supt Lucie Dubois from J Div. RCMP shared her experiences of being a female in policing and also of her experiences in completing an overseas Mission. She spoke of the opportuntiies to see a world vastly different than our own and the impact that mission work has on the people and communities they assist as well as the officers themselves. Christine Tricket and the RCMP Firearms Centre Team spoke on “INNOVAcTION- incorporated with a Dragon’s Den initiative Presentation and demo. CBSA District Director Gina Kennedy from Northwest N.B spoke on her life as a leader with CBSA and her experiences in becoming a District Director.
Cst Chris Fader who is with Codiac RCMP spoke about investigating graffiti offences. Chris has been very successful in prosecuting several prolific graffiti writers resulting in multiple charges and having thousands of dollars in restitution recovered for the victims. Chris has spoken at several national graffiti conferences and is one of few Graffiti Subject Matter Experts in Canada.
The final morning included a Wellness Corner where the attendees could get a massage and acquire ideas on how to look after themselves while juggling their busy careers in policing and their family life. The Case Study covered the investigation into the Wayne Rattray Homicide.
The conference gave participants a venue to network with other law enforcement agencies and was a forum for each and every one to reflect on how they contribute to the success of their organization and how they can be part of and lead change. Moncton, the 26th annual AWLE conference host, chose the Law Enforcement Torch Run as their registered charity for 2018. During the 2.5 day conference they raised a total of $4,670.00 for the charity of choice. Thank you to every participant for being so generous!
One of the highlights at the Awards Banquet was having Special Olympian Veronique LeBlanc in attendance to share a few words with the guests. She was also given the honour of being a J Division Honorary Mountie as she is a true leader in her community and someone others look up to.
The AWLE Executive would like to congratulate the ladies from Moncton on a job well done.
Each year we request nominations from our region for the AWLE Awards. We have seven categories designed to capture various ways that a deserving woman in law enforcement could be recognized. During our annual conference these women and in the case of the Team Endeavour Award often their male partners are recognized for their hard work and dedication to law enforcement. This year’s award winners are true demonstrators of their commitment to excellence and the brief summaries we share show a portion of what their nominees have to say.
Constable Heather Ellis is a 17-year member of the RCMP currently serving in B-Division – NL. Constable Ellis has served in a variety of roles including Acting Corporal for a team of five constables who provided police services in over a dozen New Brunswick communities. In January 2015, while in the role of Acting Corporal, she was called out while off duty, to respond to an Uttering Threats call near Woodstock, NB. A man, described as highly paranoid from the use of drugs and alcohol, had threatened to kill his roommate. He was residing in a duplex in a densely populated community and through the investigations, it was learned that he was in possession of a 30/30 rifle with a scope and had access to ammunition. Upon arrival, Acting Cpl Ellis and another officer went to adjacent duplexes to ensure the people inside could safely leave their homes while other officers set up barricades on either side of the street. Officers had no way of communicating with the suspect, and after several hours of monitoring the situation, rumours began to spread that he had escaped. Acting Cpl Ellis and another member made their way to the suspect’s duplex to determine his whereabouts, and after confirming he was still in his residence, they entered the other half of the duplex to monitor his movements. A short me later, the suspect escaped out the front door, under the cover of darkness, and made his way in the direction of one of the barricades unseen by the members positioned there. Constable Ellis relayed the information of the suspect’s movements to the members at the barricades, and after confirming that the suspect was in possession of his rifle, she proceeded out of duplex to confront him. Acting Cpl Ellis ordered him to drop his weapon but he disregarded her commands and raised his weapon directly at her. She fired two rounds; one of her shots was later found to have struck the suspect in his right arm. The suspect fired multiple rounds and Acting Cpl Ellis was forced to take cover. The suspect barricaded himself in another duplex and Constable Ellis maintained her position to keep watch. The suspect now had access to a telephone and he communicated to police that he was going to kill officers and himself. Aer several hours, the Fredericton Police Service and RCMP Emergency Response Team arrived at the scene and were able to safely extricate Acting Cpl Ellis and the other member from the duplex. The RCMP Crisis Negotiating Team and a friend of the suspect were able to safely resolve the situation.
Constable Ellis bravely risked her life to stop a dangerous armed man from harming innocent citizens and her fellow officers.
Excellence in Performance
Sergeant Lori Magee has been a member of the Saint John Police Force since February of 1991. She is currently the officer in charge of the Family Protection Unit which investigates all serious domestic violence allegations, crimes involving children, adult sexual assaults and elder abuse.
Sergeant Magee demonstrates leadership skills and excellence in performance in all aspects of her law enforcement responsibilities. As the Family Protection Unit supervisor, Sergeant Magee has taken it upon herself to conduct investigations and take statements as well as registering all clients mandated to be entered on the National Sex Offender Registry for the Saint John area. She has also assumed the responsibility for the day-to-day liaison with the Department of Social Development to allow her team members to focus on their investigations. She is frequently consulted after hours regarding incidents of online luring, sexual assaults and other Family Protection Unit matters, and always answers her phone whenever it rings whether she’s on the clock or not.
Sergeant Magee is also the Force’s Crime Stoppers Coordinator. Another example of Sergeant Magee’s work performance and leadership skills was demonstrated while she worked an overtime shift as a Patrol Supervisor in July 2018 to cover during summer vacation season. Sergeant Magee had to effectively manage and supervise multiple incidents of a significant nature that were unfolding in rapid succession including a shooting, with a victim in critical condition and with the shooter at-large, an additional ‘shots fired’ complaint, a potentially fatal assault, a report of a man jumping from a bridge, a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in a hit and run and multiple fights in different areas of the city. Sergeant Magee ensured that all incidents were controlled. Being the professional officer that she is, Sergeant Magee remained calm and maintained her composure while providing direction to her Acting Sergeant and the other officers under her charge. Sergeant Magee’s demeanour and leadership skills, set the tone for the night and positively impacted the platoon that she was leading. As always, Sergeant Magee performed well under pressure and exceeded expectations in her role as Patrol Supervisor.
Mentoring and Coaching
Constable Lindsay Dillon has been a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for 14 years, the last four assigned to the Inmate Partner Violence Unit (IPVU) which is attached to Major Crime in the Criminal Investigation Division.
Constable Dillon is a role model to other female officers within the RNC. As a mother of three daughters, she shows other female officers that a balance can be achieved between being a mother and a strong effective police officer. She leads by example through her tenacity and high work ethic; bringing all her skills and experience to each investigation. Her knowledge and training in this particular field of policing makes her unique, and she acts as an important mentor to her fellow officers, to civilian staff, community members as well as to stakeholders.
Constable Dillon provides training to officers, presents to community partners, and sits on IPV related committees as well as carrying out the everyday mandate of the unit.
When Constable Dillon started in the IPV unit, it was in its infancy and required an officer to take ownership. Constable Dillon became an advocate for inmate partner violence and was the driving force behind the unit expanding. She assisted in the development and delivery of an Inmate Partner Violence workshop that was provided to all first responders on the North East Avalon and the training continues to be delivered as requested. s the IPV unit continued to grow there was increased demand for the unit’s services, and in 2018 the Chief of Police asked Constable Dillon to develop and deliver an IPV workshop for community partners comprising of various women’s advocacy groups. The workshop was very successful and brought the police agency closer to these groups in a positive way. Constable Dillon also presents yearly at Memorial University School of Medicine on IPV issues and she is currently assisting with the development of policies on police response to sex trade workers – keeping communities safe while protecting women in the sex industry who are vulnerable.
Constable Dillon enjoys her position in IPVU as she is committed to working towards ending violence against victims, especially women. Constable Dillon wants to raise her children in a world where everyone is equal regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation; a world without fear of humiliation, degradation and violence. Development of Programs or Policies favorable to Women When Cst. Dillon started in the IPV unit, it was in its infancy and required an officer to take ownership. Cst. Dillon became an advocate for inmate partner violence and was the driving force behind the unit expanding. She assisted in the development and delivery of an Inmate Partner Violence workshop that was provide to all first responders on the North East Avalon and the training continues to be delivered as requested.
As the IPV unit continued to grow there was increased demand for the unit’s services, and in 2018 the Chief of Police asked Cst. Dillon to develop and deliver an IPV workshop for community partners comprising various women’s advocacy groups. The workshop was very successful and brought the police agency closer to these groups in a positive way.
Cst. Dillon also presents yearly at Memorial University School of Medicine on IPV issues and she is currently assisting with the development of policies on police response to sex trade workers – keeping communities safe while protecting women in the sex industry who are vulnerable.
Constable Dillon enjoys her position in IPVU as she is committed to working towards ending violence against victims, especially women. Constable Dillon wants to raise her children in a world where everyone is equal regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation; a world without fear of humiliation, degradation and violence.
Constable Cheryl Ponee has over 20 years of service with the RCMP in Nova Scotia, and is currently assigned as the School Safety Resource Officer in Bridgetown.
Prior to that, Constable Ponee was the School Safety Resource Officer at the Enfield Detachment for eight years. Her two-year assignment was extended every year at the request of East Hants management due to the relationships she had built and the leadership she displayed. Constable Ponee personifies the best of what it means to be a woman in policing, juggling a busy personal life with her policing dues and consistently putting in time outside of her regular hours. She is an extremely hard working, energetic, enthusiastic and positive police officer who possesses exceptional leadership skills. She is passionate about policing, making the schools and community a safer place and she strives to get involved in the community wherever she works.
A few highlights of her stellar career in Enfield include creating and delivering safety programs and presentations, both in the schools and the community, on issues impacting youth such as bullying, drugs and sexting; supporting school breakfast programs by teaching fitness classes in the community and donating the Sobeys gift cards she requested in lieu of payment to the schools; and teaching Zumba classes at the schools and in the community where she not only put her students through their paces but also discussed public safety issues and crime prevention.
Since arriving at the Bridgetown RCMP detachment in June 2018 as School Safety Resource Officer, she has already established positive relationships with the schools, youth, community groups and women in fitness. Constable Ponee’s conscientiousness, dedication, flexibility and involvement in the community are exceptional. Her efforts to serve the community and bridge the gap between youth and the police have made her a role model for youth, and a without a doubt, made her communities safer.
Officer of the Year
Constable Tammy Madden serves in the Major Crime Unit of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) Criminal Investigation Division.
In her role as an Investigator with the Major Crime Unit, Constable Madden has been involved in many major investigations and she is routinely called upon to assist in complex investigations that are being completed within the Criminal Investigation Division. Within the past nine months, Constable Madden has been the primary investigator on both a homicide investigation and a complex attempted murder investigation where four people were charged. In both of these files, she has demonstrated true leadership in controlling the speed, flow and direction of the investigation. She is both compassionate and professional with victims, offering when necessary, the support and resources they require. In addition to her role as a Major Crime Investigator, Constable Madden continues to assist and mentor the officers in the Inmate Partner Violence Unit, where she served prior to joining the Major Crime Unit.
She is a key component of the entire Criminal Investigation Division, not just the Major Crime Unit. Since 2009, Constable Madden has been a volunteer executive member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Newfoundland and Labrador (LETR). LETR raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympics movement worldwide. She is passionate, dependable and has a natural rapport with the Special Olympians.
Constable Madden continuously demonstrates true professionalism and dedication to both the police officers she works with and the public she serves. She brings positive energy, leadership and thoroughness in all that she does. She is a police officer that any supervisor would enjoy having under their command.
Corporal Marie-Eve Gingras has completed twelve years of service with the RCMP. She has served in Saskatchewan, Nunavut and is currently assigned to New Brunswick in the Northeast Major Crime Unit in Bathurst.
Corporal Gingras is responsible for developing, leading and mentoring members of her team as well as ensuring training needs are met and management practices are being followed. Cpl Gingras is also responsible for providing high level investigative services in all parts of the Province for major cases such as homicides, attempted murders, suspicious deaths and other types of complex investigations mandated to the Major Crime Unit
Cpl Gingras continuously strives for success and leads by example. She excels as an investigator who is very meticulous, thorough and extremely organized. She is a very dedicated, reliable and conscientious member who shows up for work with enthusiasm, positivity and motivation. Her attitude is infectious and her work ethic is a pace seer. She has also demonstrated her leadership skills as a decision maker who is confident in her abilities, but also knows her limitations. She has been involved in several high profile and very complex investigations while serving in the “V” Division MCU and now in “J” Division MCU.
In December 2015, Cpl Gingras was assigned as primary investigator on the murder of Baylee Wylie in Moncton, NB. This was a high profile investigation where she was able to coordinate and direct the investigation in a professional and diligent manner. This was a fast pace and complex investigation which required a number of different units and outside partners. Over a period of several days, she coordinated resources for surveillance, interviews of the three suspects, crime scene examination(s), exhibit management, autopsy and undercover operations. Cpl Gingras successfully led the investigation and the subsequent long and arduous court proceedings which resulted in the two main accused pleading guilty to manslaughter.
In June 2016, Cpl Gingras was selected to be the Team Commander on a Joint Force Operation (JFO) which demonstrates the trust her line officer has, in her ability to manage individuals from different organizations. This was a very demanding and challenging assignment as it required her to lead, direct and supervise a command triangle composed of police officers from three different police forces as well as a number of investigators assigned to the integrated project. She demonstrated strong planning and organizational skills as well as excellent communication while she was responsible to plan and coordinate the arrest of two suspects in New Brunswick. She also planned the arrest and interview of the main suspect in another Province. The project ended in February 2018 at which me Cpl Gingras prepared a very detailed crown brief which was presented to the Crown in June 2018 for charge approval review (Still under Crown review as of 2018-09-20).
While working intensively on the JFO murder investigation, Cpl Gingras continued to manage performance evaluations and learning plans for the members under her supervision. One of Cpl Gingras’ strong traits as a leader is her planning and organizational skills. She is not afraid to be “hands on” and work alongside members monitoring closely, ongoing projects and investigations, providing support and assistance when required by discussing avenues of investigations with the goal of a successful conclusion. Cpl Gingras is a great leader who is dedicated to her work, respectful towards others, is a positive role model for her colleagues and has a great work ethic.
Constable Shawna Doiron has been a member of the Saint John Police Force since October 2009. She is currently assigned to the Family Protection Unit.
Constable Christopher McCutcheon has been a member of the Saint John Police Force since January 2011 and is currently assigned to the Major Crime Unit.
Constable Doiron and Constable McCutcheon were jointly tasked to work on a significant and complicated threats and harassment file which is currently before the Courts.
In April 2016, the Saint John Police Force received a service call from a young woman who reported that her Facebook account had been hacked, after which the hacker sent nasty messages to her friends under her name. The victim deleted the account and generated a new account. The victim then received messages from an unknown male claiming responsibility for the messages who said he would stop; this however, was just the beginning of a nightmare for the young woman which included the victim’s vehicle being randomly vandalized, the suspect creating a profile under the victim’s name and posting a picture on a pornographic sex trade website and numerous death threats to the victim, her boyfriend and friends. The suspect knew where the victim lived, where she worked and her work schedule. The victim felt there was no place where she would be safe. This was not just a case of cyber identity the or hijacking of social media accounts, but rather a case whereby a victim was being completely terrorized.
Neither Constable Doiron nor Constable McCutcheon had backgrounds in Information Technology (IT) or had police-related IT training. Constable Doiron and Constable McCutcheon had to learn how to investigate this cybercrime. They were self-taught and acquired information from the City of Saint John’s IT support team, executives at telephone companies, other professionals in the IT field as well as social media and Facebook staff. Most officers would have, and justifiably so, said they were not capable of this level of investigation and would have sent information to the RCMP Technological Crimes Unit for investigation. Although Constable Doiron and Constable McCutcheon disclosed their lack of IT experience and training, both officers were not challenged in Court because their work had been so well documented and thoroughly completed.
Without a doubt, Constable Doiron and Constable McCutcheon’s diligence, dedication and determination to bring closure and a sense of safety and peace to a victim resulted in the identification and apprehension of the suspect in this matter.