Vernon RCMP superintendent collects B.C. award

Shawna Baher among more than 100 officers recognized in Victoria at Police Honours Night

Vernon RCMP superintendent collects B.C. award

Vernon-North Okanagan’s top cop has captured a provincial honour.

Supt. Shawna Baher was recognized with an Award of Meritorious Service at the 37th annual Police Honours Night at Government House in Victoria.

Baher won the honour for her leadership in identifying the opioid-fentanyl crisis, and ensuring RCMP officers were authorized and trained to carry naloxone, which came about when Baher was stationed at the Surrey detachment prior to her taking command at the Vernon-North Okanagan detachment.

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More than 100 deserving women and men of law enforcement were recognized for their bravery and dedication.

Each and every day, police officers selflessly put their lives on the line to ensure British Columbians are safe.

“We rely on the officers we honour tonight to do the difficult and dangerous work of protecting all that we hold dear, often without expressing the gratitude and the respect they so deserve,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Tonight’s awards allow us to recognize the officers who reach incredible lengths to fulfil their oaths to protect and serve their communities. On behalf of all British Columbians, we thank you for your bravery, courage and dedication to duty.”

Lt. Gov. Janet Austin and Farnworth presented awards to officers of all ranks from municipal departments and RCMP detachments for their extraordinary accomplishments in life-saving incidents, their determination above and beyond the call of duty and their work to make B.C.’s communities safer.

Some of this year’s recipients are:

* a fallen constable from Abbotsford who displayed exceptional bravery and paid the ultimate sacrifice as the first responder to a call of shots fired;

* members from Delta who rescued an injured, suicidal male from the ocean;

* team members from the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service who searched an expansive avalanche debris field during dangerous conditions for five missing hikers;

* members from the Lower Mainland District and Vancouver Police Department Emergency Response teams who placed themselves at substantial risk entering the residence of an active shooter to perform a hostage rescue;

* a constable from Grand Forks who demonstrated exceptional commitment over a seven-year period to conclude a missing person investigation;

* members from North Cowichan/Duncan who entered a burning home despite the thick smoke and limited visibility, to search for a missing resident; and

* a member from Surrey whose leadership in identifying the fentanyl crisis led to ensuring B.C.’s RCMP officers were authorized and trained to carry life-saving naloxone.

“I am pleased to congratulate those being honoured for exemplary service to the citizens of British Columbia. Your bravery and commitment to the safety and well-being of the public, even at the risk of your own lives, cannot be commended enough,” said Austin. “As representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it is my honour to extend thanks to all law enforcement offers for their continued leadership and dedication in protecting our cities and communities.”

In all, 49 officers received the award of valour, the highest award for a police officer in British Columbia. These officers exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect others from harm.

In addition, 57 officers were feted with honours for meritorious service, recognizing exemplary performance that answered the call to service in exceptional ways.

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