A’burg Police honour officers and community leaders at banquet

By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Police Services paid homage to community leaders, and its members at their annual awards banquet held last Tuesday evening.

“I want to thank all of our members,” Berthiaume said. “I appreciate you and your organization appreciates you taking an interest in your police service. I want to tell you I’m really proud of all of you.”

A number of awards were handed out, which included the inaugural Chief’s Award of Excellence at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Along with thanking his officers, Berthiaume credited the members of the community who help the police service.

“I really appreciate all the effort you put in every day,” he said.

Chair of the Amherstburg Police Services Board, Councillor John Sutton said he wasn’t only proud of the officers, but the community as well, stating that the community acts as the “eyes and ears” for the police.


Amherstburg police honored officers and citizens Oct. 18. Top: PSB chair John Sutton, Special Const. Pat McMahon, Aux. Sgt. Ron Paquette, Sr. Const. Fred Adair, Sr. Const. Nathan Harris, Det. Const. Aaron Chambers, Sgt. Mike Cox, Sr. Const. B.J. Wiley, Chief Tim Berthiaume. Seated: Nora Newman, Michelle Donlon, Vanessa Harris, Rotarians Lena Lazanja & Murray Loomis, Peter Romeril of Old Dutch Foods. Absent: Sgt. Jim Saxon, Sr. Const. Ray Rosati and retired PSB member Joe Levack.

“I really think it speaks to what Amherstburg is all about,” said Sutton. “I really treasure moments when we get to tout what Amherstburg is and what we’re all about.”

Sr. Const Joan Lovell acted as the master of ceremonies.

Sgt. Mike Cox received the first Chief’s Award of Excellence for his years of volunteer efforts in both Amherstburg and Harrow.

Cox, who has been a police officer over 24 years, He is known for his volunteer efforts including helping to organize the Special Olympics Torch Run and was a driving force in establishing the Amherstburg Heroes Athletic Club for special needs athletes. Cox is also a past president of the harrow Minor Hockey Association.

“Mike would be the first to tell you he is just doing what he loves,” said Lovell. “There are no words to describe the dedication we all see in Mike when it comes time to raise money for Special Olympics.”

The second Chief’s Award of Excellence was given to Sr. Const. Nathan Harris and his wife Vanessa. When ten-year-old Alex Riddell, son of Sgt. Scott Riddell and wife Josette, awoke April 2 with stroke-like symptoms – later revealed to be cavernous malformations in his brain – the Harris’ wasted little time in springing into action. They planned a fundraising dinner for the Knights of Columbus Hall to help offset the Riddell’s medical expenses but the event grew so big it was moved to the larger Verdi Club where it quickly sold out.

“The Harris’ saw an opportunity to help a fellow officer,” said Lovell. “But also brought the community closer to the police service.”

Lovell noted the couple wasn’t receiving the award due to the money the event raised but the fact they “brought everyone together in love and support for a common cause.”

Fire Chief Randy Sinasac also presented his own Chief’s Award to the Harris’, stating that Vanessa and Scott Riddell also are Amherstburg firefighters.

“Two of Amherstburg’s finest are also two of Amherstburg’s bravest,” said Sinasac.

The Service Club Partnership Award was given to the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.

Lovell said the Rotary Club helps police host bike safety seminars and other educational programs to the public.

“Over the years, we have joined forces to bring a number of programs to the people of Amherstburg,” said Lovell. “The Rotary Club can be counted on to help out in any way they can.”

Peter Romeril of Old Dutch Foods was the Corporate Partner Award winner.

“Peter has been so generous and done so willingly for so many years,” said Lovell.

Lovell stated that Romeril “comes through” for the police service by doing what he can to provide food supplies for such events as Police Week, the boat inspection day at Ranta Marina and the Special Olympics Torch Run among others.

Members of the police services were also honored for years of service or retirements.

Special Const. Pat McMahon, APSB member Joe Levack and secretary Nora Newman were recognized for their retirement from the service.

Long Service Awards were handed out for those members who have served for five, ten and 25 years with the police force. Five-year awards went to secretary Michelle Donlon and Detective Const. Aaron Chambers. Harris, Sr. Const. Fred Adair and Sr. Const. B.J. Wiley earned ten-year awards.

Sgt. Jim Saxon, Sr. Const. Ray Rosati and Auxiliary Sgt. Ron Paquette were recognized for 25-years of service.

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