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Winnipeg Police Service


News Room – Inside the Winnipeg Police Service

Service Celebrates Its Volunteers & Community Partners

WPS Volunteer Appreciation NightChances are, when you first visit a police facility or see our Community Caravan at a local event, one of the first people you’ll meet is a committed member of our Community Volunteer Program.

And, should you be the unfortunate victim of a crime, the phone call you receive from our Victim Service Unit and the information you receive about the legal process and support services available is usually provided by one of our caring Victim Service volunteers.

Last year, volunteers also gave their time at various WPS events including vehicle inspections, school patrol functions, WPS Half Marathon, Canada Day festivities, the Teddy Bear Picnic, the IAWP conference, and more.

They do so much for us – and the community – so each year we set aside one night to formally recognize their efforts on our behalf.

“Whether serving as an important resource at our district stations, assisting fellow citizens who have been victimized by crime, or supporting our presence at various community events, our WPS volunteers continue to make vital contributions to our efforts every day,” said Chief Devon Clunis.

“The Winnipeg Police Service is a stronger and more successful organization with the support of our dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge and thank them for their commitment to us, as well as their steadfast community spirit.”

7,000 Hours Contributed Through Community Services Volunteer Program

Last year, members of the Community Volunteer program contributed slightly more than 7,000 volunteer hours.

The volunteers assist the public, in person, by providing administrative support and referrals inside and outside of the Service.  These volunteers assist with Alarm Permits and Record Checks. 

They are always a welcome sight for Service Centre visitors as well as our members, as we could not accomplish all that we do without their support.

Congratulations to Ms. Margaret Stewart who was selected the Community Volunteer of the Year! She has been a volunteer with the Winnipeg Police Service since 2005. She has volunteered more than 2,100 hours to the Service in her capacity as a Public Safety Building Service Centre Volunteer, at Crime Awareness Presentations and during the WPS Half Marathon.

Also notable among the other community volunteers honoured were:

  • Mark Potter for amassing more than 7,000 lifetime volunteer hours while serving at the Public Safety Building and West District Station.
  • Brenda Searles  for amassing more than 4,000 lifetime volunteer hours on behalf of the Community Volunteer Program and the WPS Choir.
  • Fran Yurkiw for topping the 2,000 volunteer hours mark while serving at the Public Safety Building.
  • Three people for reaching the 500 volunteer hours milestone.
  • Six people for reaching the 200 volunteer hours milestone.
  • Seven people who attained more than 10 years of service to the program.

Victim Services Volunteers Connect With the Community

Victim Service (VSS) Volunteers assist the public by checking on the citizens’ well-being after police related incidents. Victims receive court information and referrals to community agencies; but more importantly, they receive a voice on the other end of the phone that cares.

On the back of each incident card that officers give when on a call, is 204-986-3650.  This is the main phone line of Victim Services.  VSS volunteers field calls ranging from concerns/complaints, to victims being emotionally distraught, to the public looking for information on anything police related.  When the volunteers don’t know the answers, they find out. 

Each of these volunteers brings a unique perspective to the Unit, and the unit is much stronger because of that.

Congratulations to Mr. George Dyck who was selected the Victim Services Volunteer of the Year! He is a 10-year member of the Victim Service volunteer program and has spent the past nine years volunteering with the Ground Search & Rescue Unit.

Also notable among the other Victim Service volunteers honoured were:

  • Heather Sharman for reaching the 1,000 volunteer hours milestone.
  • Juanita Wilson-Hayward and Margaret Wark for reaching the 1,000 volunteer hours milestone.
  • Alicia Montgomery & Shelly Phillips for reaching the 500 volunteer hours milestone.
  • Angela Penner & Erika Willows for reaching the 250 volunteer hours milestone.
  • Mr. Ajay Kumar for celebrating his 10the year with the program.
  • Five volunteers received silver pins for completing 5 years of service.

Find out more about our volunteer programs here.

 “When ‘average’ citizens go out of their way to help others, or assist the police in doing their jobs, it is truly appreciated, and there is nothing ‘average’ about it,” concluded Chief Clunis. “It is this sort of heart that can, and will make a difference in our city.”

Expressing Thanks to Community Partners

During this annual event, the Service also pays tribute to deserving citizens who have assisted our Service in some capacity or helped strengthen police relationships within their community.

Following is a list of Citizen Appreciation Awards recipients honoured at this year’s dinner:

  • Derk Derin and Rick Enns, who spent more than 1,000 hours restoring a 1955 WPS Bomb Truck and a 1970 WPS Hovercraft on behalf of the Winnipeg Police Museum.     
  • Sheila Babaian, who assisted us with a suicidal male who was threatening to jump off a local bridge.
  • Angele Young and Andrea Vogt, of CAA Manitoba, for all their work on behalf of the School Safety Patrol program
  • Dan Maheu, who assisted with the apprehension of a male attempting to steal a vehicle.
  • Greg Vermette, who generously donated more than $50,000 worth of sporting equipment to help inner city children in need
  • Noelle Depape, who has been instrumental in the development of UMOJA, a group working to build bridges between police and newcomers.
  • Abdi Ahmed, for his extensive work with immigrant and refugee communities and partnership with WPS.
  • Andrey Sveshnikov, for his assistance in apprehending a male for an armed robbery.
  • Raul Flores, Gerald Hendrickson and Dianna Vail who attended to a male who had just committed suicide.      

No simple award truly captures the impact these citizens have had on our efforts – and indeed the broader community. Our sincere hope is that this recognition shines a light on the example they’ve set through their commitment to make our community stronger.

Recalling Chief Clunis’ words at his Oath of Office Ceremony in 2012:

“I believe that one person can make a difference.  But I also know what can happen when the power of one is multiplied by a group of individuals committed to a cause.  Together, we can make a difference and change the future of our city.”

Thank you to each and every one of our volunteers and community partners!

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