Bringing justice to an elderly woman defrauded of her life’s savings, entering a dimly lit room to confront an armed gunman with a hostage, wading into frigid waters to save a suicidal man.
This is the work that Delta police officers and reserved constables were recognized for, at Police Honours Night on Nov. 22.
Each year, the province recognizes members of the RCMP and independent police forces who have performed what it considers to be exemplary service for British Columbians. Awards are given for meritorious service (officers who did above and beyond what is expected), and valorous service (officers who take action for the benefit of others despite risk of serious injury to themselves). This year, seven Delta police members were recognized for their contributions.
Const. Kristine Pemberton was acknowledged with a meritorious service medal for her work on an elder abuse file which began back in September 2016.
Pemberton spent hundreds of hours investigating a situation in which an elderly woman was defrauded of $100,000. The accused in the case had bullied, threatened, lied and stolen substantial amounts of money from multiple victims. The accused ultimately plead guilty in March of this year.
Pemberton was recognized for the hundreds of hours of investigative time, her commitment to the victims and their welfare, and for her outstanding work in delivering a well-organized and thorough investigation to Crown counsel.
“With our aging population in British Columbia, it is imperative that elder abuse situations are closely watched and investigated. Our seniors have shaped and built the world as it is, and it is our duty to protect them,” DPD Chief Neil Dubord said in a press release. “Const. Pemberton’s thoroughness, judgment and dedication are an example to all police officers.”
Four other officers were also recognized for their efforts to save a suicidal man who had entered the frigid waters of Goose Bay in February.
Sgt. Mike Scholz, Const. Dave Dyck and Reserve-Const. Justin Wong entered the water in South Delta in an attempt to bring the man to safety. The officers were sinking into the silt, and the tide was coming in. Although they reached the man, who was seriously injured, they had no quick way to get him back to shore. The officers were also starting to develop hypothermia, and could no longer move their legs.
At that point, Staff-Sgt. Dave Vaughan-Smith and Reserve-Const. Brian Short (now a DPD constable) entered the water after them to take over.
“It was a perilous situation, as officers arrived on scene to find the distraught man well out in the water,” Dubord said.
Dyck, Scholz and Wong were taken to Delta Hospital as a precautionary measure, but were released soon after. Dyck and Scholz were recognized for their valorous service; Wong, Vaughan-Smith and Short were recognized for their meritorious service.
Const. Dave Ogilvy was the final DPD officer recognized at the Nov. 22 ceremony, and was nominated by B.C. RCMP deputy commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr for his efforts with the Integrated Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team.
In September of 2015, Ogilvy and the response team were called to an active shooter situation at a Burnaby home. A man had shot his ex-wife’s boyfriend, causing the ex-wife, as well as her child and grandchild, to flee. Tenants were in the suite upstairs, and the boyfriend was seriously injured.
On entering the home, Ogilvy insisted on taking point position.
“Const. Ogilvy showed tremendous valour in his role as the first member to enter the dimly lit basement suite where it was known that an armed man who had shot at other people was inside; thus again knowingly putting himself in the position with the greatest risk,” Butterworth-Carr wrote.
While in the home, Ogilvy came face-to-face with the suspect, who was armed with a rifle. Ogilvy tried to de-escalate the situation, but the suspect was ultimately shot.
For his actions, Ogilvy received the valorous service award.