From left: North Cowichan/Duncan officers Const. Megan Kowalewich, Cpl. Stephen Merrick, Const. Thomas Peters, Const. Keith Lansdowne, Cpl. Lita Watson and Const. Leanne Szalai. Not pictured is Const. Mathew Banfield, who is now with Saanich Police Department. (Submitted)

From left: North Cowichan/Duncan officers Const. Megan Kowalewich, Cpl. Stephen Merrick, Const. Thomas Peters, Const. Keith Lansdowne, Cpl. Lita Watson and Const. Leanne Szalai. Not pictured is Const. Mathew Banfield, who is now with Saanich Police Department. (Submitted)

North Cowichan/Duncan Mounties honoured for valour

“It takes a special kind of person to serve in law enforcement”

Police officers from across the province were honoured on Nov. 21 at the 38th annual Police Honours Night at Government House in Victoria.

Six current officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officers, and one who has since moved to a new detachment were among the 114 recognized.

“It takes a special kind of person to serve in law enforcement, those who know the dangers and challenges of their profession but remain committed to serve with pride and never shy away from their duty,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

He joined Lt. Gov. Janet Austin to present the awards to officers for their bravery in life-saving incidents, their devotion above and beyond the call of duty and their work to make B.C.’s communities safer.

“Those recognized tonight have demonstrated exemplary courage and conviction,” Austin said. “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.”

Receiving awards of Valour — the highest award a police officer is able to obtain — were Cpl. Stephen Merrick, Constables Mathew Banfield (now with Saanich Police Department), Megan Kowalewich, Keith Lansdowne and Thomas Peters. The group worked together to rescue a woman trapped in an unstable vehicle that was in danger of sliding into the Cowichan River. The incident occurred on Quamichan Road West in the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 2017. The officers worked together to gather ropes and hoses from nearby yards to secure the car.

In addition, Cpl. Lita Watson and Const. Leanne Szalai earned honours for meritorious service which recognizes the exemplary performance of those who answered the call to service in exceptional ways.

Watson and Szalai worked with members of the Duncan Fire Department to save a suicidal, intoxicated youth and his friend from jumping off the edge of a school roof on Dec. 29, 2018.

“We are proud of these two groups of officers that showed their commitment to the people and community they serve by putting themselves at risk to assist others,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Swain, Operations NCO for North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. “Our officers are consistently running towards danger in situations like this, for that we are proud to work with them and grateful they are working in our community.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Sean Ramsay comes away with the puck after a battle along the boards during a game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on May 1, 2021. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Three wins in a row for Cowichan Capitals

BCHL team enjoying best stretch of the season

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account for the family of Dorothy Littau, who was diagnosed with colon cancer last month. (Submitted)
GoFundMe campaign set up ‘ever-present force in South Cowichan schools’

Dorothy Littau was diagnosed with colon cancer in April

Peter and Wayne Richmond and 49th Parallel Grocery won the award for Business Achievement 20+ Employees at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd Black Tie Awards on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Submitted)
Black Tie winners announced during virtual awards event

Recipients gave speeches by phone while being live-streamed on YouTube

Cobble Hill’s Bob Collins (left) and reservist Keenan Hayes stand at attention at Cobble Hill Cenotaph in this photo taken on Oct. 22, 2019, to honour members of the Canadian military who died in Canada in non-combat roles. (File photo)
MacGregor seeks to honour armed services members who died on Canadian soil

MP introduces bill to mark Oct. 22 as “Canadian Armed Forces Members’ Day”

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

Most Read