Thunder Bay Police Service Exemplary Service Awards

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Thunder Bay Police Unit

Thunder Bay – News – Sworn and Civilian Members of the Thunder Bay Police Service were awarded for exemplary service at a special ceremony Thursday evening.

The exemplary service medals are bars are approved by the Governor General of Canada and awarded to sworn members for exemplary service. The TBPS Civilian Dedication to Service Award is presented to Civilian members in recognition of 20, 30 and 40 years of dedicated service.

Notably, the Thunder Bay Police Service is proud to recognize Cst. Craig Town among the 30 Year Bar recipients.

Special Unit accommodations were also awarded to members of the Intelligence, Community Oriented Response and Engagement (CORE), and Primary Response Units for exceptional service. (Please see quotes and backgrounders below for more information about these special accommodations.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the award ceremonies were suspended. On Thursday evening at the Valhalla Inn, the special ceremony honoured Exemplary Service Awards recipients from 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Exemplary Service Awards recipients included:

2019
30 Year Bar – Sworn
Constable John Fredborg
Constable Greg Symons
Constable Craig Town
20 Year Medal – Sworn
Sergeant Lee Arnone
Sergeant Michael Sweitzer
Constable James Willson

30 Year – Civilian
Charmaine Cimini
Sherry Dubois
Heather Labelle
20 Year – Civilian
Vicky Miller
2020
20 Year Medal – Sworn
Staff Sergeant Jason Anderson
Constable Larry Baxter
Constable Londyn Bilbrough
Constable Jody Bellemare
Constable Rob Bonthron
Constable David Exell
Constable Kirk Laamanen
Constable Roxanne Legarde
Constable Rob Main
Sergeant Todd Pritoula
Staff Sergeant Lori Quinlan
Detective Constable Cari Rybak
Detective Sergeant Jason Rybak
Sergeant Shawn Whipple

30 Year – Civilian
Heidi Hrycyk
20 Year – Civilian
Carole Kurylo
Sharon Seeley
Francie Sweitzer
Tracy Tesky

2021
20 Year Medal – Sworn
Detective Cameron Girvin
Detective Sergeant Rob Gombola
Constable Ron Mihalus
Constable Brent Parres
Inspector Gordon Snyder
Detective Constable Jeff Saunders
Detective Michael Tomasevic
30 Year – Civilian
Jolene Turecki

INTELLIGENCE UNIT Accommodation:

“The Thunder Bay Police Service hereby recognizes the excellence and professionalism of the 2021 – 2023 Intelligence Unit. Through their efforts, they have set the bar at the highest of levels with successful projects and enforcement actions which have led to a number of arrests and seizures that the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario remarks as ‘simply astounding.’

“In the last 2 years, this small group of officers and civilian support staff have led 143 project-level operations or warrant executions that have resulted in:

• 346 persons arrested of whom 193 were not from this district
• Laid 914 Criminal Code Charges
• Laid 539 charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
• Investigated 72 Home Takeovers
• Seized 31 firearms including automatic firearms
• Seized $1.93 million in currency
• Seized 35 kg of cocaine, 10 kg of crack cocaine, 6.3 kg of fentanyl, and 6.5 kg of crystal methamphetamine
• The street value of the seized drugs in 2022 is estimated to be $7.45 million and the societal costs that were saved from the seized drugs is estimated to be $20.7 million.
• The number of lives saved cannot be estimated but we recognize that the Thunder Bay District has 5x the provincial average in deaths of all municipalities per 100,000
PRIMARY RESPONSE BRANCH Accommodation:

“The Thunder Bay Police Service wishes to recognize a member dedicated to the front-line of policing in the Primary Response Unit who exemplifies the values of the service. Those values are: Trust, integrity, leadership, inclusivity, and collaborations.
Constable Gerald Duffy exemplifies all of those values and many more. Constable Duffy continuously demonstrates professionalism under the most trying of circumstances; embodies patience when others long since would have walked away; demonstrates humanity toward people regardless of their path in life; and shows dedication to duty as the clock ticked long past the end of their scheduled workdays”

“As an example of Gerald’s skill and compassion, on Christmas Eve, 2022, Gerald and his new partner attended to a mental health act call for service where a young man wanted to end his life due to numerous family issues and substance abuse problems. At that time, Gerald was coaching his new recruit partner showing all of his professionalism and compassion towards this situation. Gerald was able to show the gentleman that life is worth living and showed that people do care about him and how to ask for help and its nothing to be ashamed of. While speaking to this gentleman, Gerald was so compassionate and sincere for his well being, that the young man started to cry and thank him for helping. Before leaving, Gerald made sure that all parties had the proper advice and information moving forward.”

CONSTABLE CRAIG TOWN – 30 Year Bar

“Constable Craig Town, badge number 154, was hired by the Thunder Bay Police Service on September 8, 1989 and is currently assigned to the Primary Response Unit.

“Craig will tell you that being a police officer is the best job he has ever had. No, it’s not the ONLY job he ever had. The highlight of his career was surviving 2 bullet wounds; one to the face, the other to the shoulder and spine, and living to tell about it. Mel Vilcek, his Unit Sergeant at the time, saved his life that day by administering CPR until the ambulance arrived. Thank-you Mel! Craig still has a sense of humor and is always happy to tell you a joke to make you smile. His other passion is Scottish history, so if any of you want to know whether your clan was friends or enemies of another clan just ask Craig. He’ll probably be able to tell you from which clan you hail also.

“He is extremely proud of his 2 sons, Kyle and Sean, and the constant support of his wife of 37 years Jillian. His determination and perseverance are an inspiration to us all. Thank-you Craig for your service to us and to our community.”

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