Nanaimo RCMP Const. Chris Dufrane, left, was presented with an award for valour while constables Gary O’Brien, Simon Gallimore, Mark Smith and Mike Thompson received meritorious service awards at the 38th annual Police Honours Night, hosted at Government House in Victoria on Thursday. Photo: Marisol O’Brien

Nanaimo RCMP officers recognized for valour and merit

Police Honours Night was Thursday at Government House in Victoria

Nanaimo RCMP members were recognized with awards of valour and meritorious service.

Constables from the Nanaimo detachment were among 30 officers who received awards of valour and 84 officers who received meritorious service awards during the 38th annual Police Honours Night hosted at Government House in Victoria on Thursday.

Police Honours Night recognizes members of independent municipal police forces, RCMP, First Nations, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and transit police services who have acted in an exemplary manner.

Const. Chris Dufrane was presented with the award of valour – the highest award presented to police officers in B.C. – for attempting to save a man from drowning in Westwood Lake.

Several Nanaimo detachment members also received awards for meritorious service.

Constables Simon Gallimore and Michael Thompson each received meritorious service awards for enlisting bystanders to lift a motor vehicle to free a woman who was being asphyxiated under the vehicle’s engine block.

Also, Const. Gary O’Brien used innovative and creative approaches to promote the Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers Program; Const. Mark Smith performed life-saving first aid to a robbery suspect with a severed radial artery; and Const. Clay Wurzinger, with the Nanaimo Police Dog Service, tracked a dangerous prolific offender for several hours through dense bush.

The honourees were selected by a committee of representatives from the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Police Services Division.

The awards were presented by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“Those recognized tonight have demonstrated exemplary courage and conviction,” Austin said, in a press release. “It is an honour to hear the stories of these brave men and women, who serve British Columbians often at the risk of their own lives. We thank them for their service and acknowledge all who support them to do such impactful work for the province.”
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