COMMISSION DE SERVICES POLICIERS D’OTTAWA
Working together for a safer community
La sécurité de notre communauté, un travail d’équipe
DATE 5 April 2012
TO/DEST. Ottawa Police Services Board
FROM/EXP. Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board
SUBJECT/OBJET PEACE OFFICER EXEMPLARY SERVICE MEDAL
That the Ottawa Police Services Board write to the Chancellory of Honours expressing support for a change in the eligibility criteria for the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal to allow special constables working for municipal police services to receive it.
Attached at Annex A is a letter from Special Constable Edo van Belkom, Peel Regional Police Service, urging the Ottawa Police Services Board to join in a campaign calling for a change in the eligibility criteria for the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal.
Special Constable van Belkom began this campaign in 2010 and has since amassed a long list of supporters including Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Parliament, municipal mayors, police services boards and police chiefs. A list of supporters is attached to his letter.
The Federal Government’s Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal created in 2004 is presented to peace officers who have provided 20 years of exemplary service. In addition to sworn police officers, the Medal is also given to Ontario Provincial Police special constables, as well as peace officers working with the Canada Border Services Agency, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Department of the Environment, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Parks Canada Agency. However, special constables working for municipal police services are not eligible. Special Constable van Belkom postulates that this is a double standard that has no basis in law or any generally accepted notion about who or what a peace officer is. The Criminal Code of Canada defines a peace officer as, “a police officer, bailiff, constable, or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or for the service or execution of civil process.”
On behalf of all special constables working for municipal police services, Special Constable van Belkom is requesting that the Ottawa Police Services Board write to the Chancellory of Honours to urge its advisory committee to re-consider the eligibility criteria for the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal. In particular, he asks that the Board request a change in the wording of the criteria from “any other federal or provincial organization that employs peace officers” to “any other government organization that employs peace officers”. This will ensure that municipal special constables as well as those working for provincial or federal governments are recognized for the contribution they make to preserving and maintaining the public peace in Canada.
Chief Bordeleau was consulted and fully supports the proposed change.
The Police Services Board is asked to consider Peel Regional Special Constable Edo van Belkom’s request to support a campaign to change the eligibility criteria for the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal, so that special constables working for municipal police services are eligible for the honour and recognition of their service to the public. The Special Constable presents a strong case for the change he is advocating, and many other police services boards and elected officials have already communicated their support.
(Original signed by)