Edmonton – Last week, at a private ceremony, Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, Commanding Officer of “K” Division RCMP presented awards for bravery, outstanding service, life-saving and long service to RCMP employees.
Several RCMP members received the Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Bravery, which recognizes courage in the face of dangerous circumstances beyond those commonly encountered in routine police work.
Commendations for outstanding service
Insp. Brink and S/Sgt. Zazulak
Lyle and Marie McCann, a St. Albert couple, mysteriously disappeared in 2010 while on a road trip to British Columbia. The McCann double homicide received significant national media attention and was a was one of the largest and most complex files that the Serious Crimes Branch has ever dealt with.
Sgt. Brink took on the role of primary investigator and led a team of investigators that often swelled to more than 40 members through an extremely challenging investigation. Cpl. Zazulak was assigned the role of file coordinator as original members transferred. He assisted in sending and reviewing emails to all 700 police officers.
Commendations for bravery
Sgt. Shiloh Fragomeni and Cst. Darren Jensen
On November 6, 2015, Grande Prairie RCMP members responded to a complaint of a suicidal male in a residential area. Members attended the location where they located the subject. A member began communications with the male who had who had a long barreled firearm pointed at his chest with finger on trigger. The conversation seemed to be going well until the male pulled the trigger on the firearm which did not fire. Sgt. Fragomeni, Cst. Jensen and two other members quickly approached the male and took possession of the gun, taking the male into custody.
Sgt. Stephen Genereaux and Cst. Vincent Duguay
On March 12, 2016, Lac la Biche RCMP members were dispatched to a 24-unit apartment complex fire. A total of five members on-duty and one off-duty member, including Sgt. Genereaux and Cst. Duguay, attended the fire and were able to get all 24 units evacuated prior to the fire department’s arrival. This included children and a severely disabled person in which a crane had to be used to lift him from his bed. The apartment building was a total loss and has subsequently been demolished.
Sgt. Genereaux put his personal safety at risk in evacuating approximately 100 people in a large apartment. Cst. Duguay’s quick actions ensured the occupants of the apartment complex fire were evacuated safely with no loss of life. He was fresh into his RCMP career with only four shifts completed.
Cst. Sean Gordon
While responding to a sinking boat on Ghost Lake, Alta., on July 14, 2018, Cst. Gordon commandeered a private boat belonging to a civilian. Along with the group of three civilians, they saved 10 people, including an infant, from drowning from the capsized vessel. During this occurrence, a 15 year-old lost consciousness – Cst. Gordon performed CPR, reviving the girl. All persons were saved.
In a separate incident on March 9, 2018, in Bragg Creek, Alta., Cochrane RCMP members responded to a complaint of an assault with a weapon in which the victim had been slashed several times with a sword. While waiting for EMS to arrive, Cst. Gordon noted that the victim needed immediate medical care as she had lost a large amount of blood from a deep cut on her right leg. He applied a tourniquet to her leg until the bleeding stopped and EMS arrived.
Cst. Cameron Turner
On April 5, 2017, Cst. Turner responded to a call of a suicidal male where two members were already on scene. In his role as the Acting Watch supervisor, he liaised with members with an awareness of the suspect’s mental state and the children on site. Once on scene, the male suspect pulled out a long barrel assault style rifle and pointed the muzzle at Cst. Turner and another member. The members found cover when he pointed the firearm directly at the two children who were in the room. The officers then engaged the suspect, forcing the muzzle to point at the ground instead of the children. Together, the members were able to retrieve the firearm, handcuff the male and remove him from the house without injury to the children.
Cst. Jason Wells
Cst. Wells was acting in the role of a Tactical Flight Officer to support the search for a missing, suicidal male in the mountain area near Jasper, Alta., on July 5, 2017. The suicidal male was located on an overhanging cliff face. Cst. Wells was lowered down via sling from a rescue helicopter to initiate contact with this individual. The individual was safely removed from the hazardous location, detained and apprehended under the Mental Health Act.
Long Service Awards
RCMP Long Service Awards marking 20 or more years of service, Alberta Police Officer Long Service Awards marking 20 years of service and the Alberta Emergency Service Awards marking 12 years of Alberta-specific service were also distributed to 41 “K” Division RCMP regular members and employees whose service collectively total over 1,000 years.