You can download the stories of our 2018 recipients here :

Download the Word file containing the stories

In February 2015, the RCMP in Valleyfield was assigned to dismantle various criminal organizations involved in the trafficking of cocaine and contraband tobacco and cannabis in Akwesasne, Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.

The legal challenges were complex, as investigators called in the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, an undercover agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Plattsburgh, and 26 trained undercover agents. Using the “Mr. Big” approach, the RCMP created a fake criminal group that specialized in the transportation of contraband, sending their undercover agents to infiltrate various targeted networks, which allowed police to access the crime rings’ communications systems.

The logistics involved were enormous, and during the 13-month investigation, 180 warrants were issued, resulting in the seizure of 231 kilos of cocaine, 71 pounds of cannabis, $318,000 in cash, 77,610 kilos of tobacco and more than 10 million contraband cigarettes.

Police also raided the residence of the head of the criminal network, as part of a wave of arrests that resulted in 30 individuals charged with a multitude of offenses, including possession and trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis and contraband tobacco.

For the creativity that went into the group’s investigative techniques, for their commitment, focus and exemplary planning that reaped enormous results, 2018 Quebec Police Awards are presented to David Michaud and Stéphane Viau of the RCMP, as well as a team of undercover agents who cannot be identified. Honorary awards in recognition of their important collaboration are also presented to Special Agent Mike Laravia of the DEA and to Prosecutor Guillaume Lemay of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

On June 9, 2016 a frantic woman in Sherbrooke called 911 for help, prompting two police officers to race to a residence on Mezy Street, ordinarily known as a quiet and affluent neighbourhood. When police arrived, a seriously injured woman in her 70s was standing outside her residence, her face covered with blood. Meanwhile, a man was seen leaving the scene in a green car. One officer stayed to attend to the injured woman while the other officer took off to apprehend the fleeing suspect.

The injured woman had just been stabbed several times and was bleeding profusely. The attending officer ran inside the residence and was met by a scene of horror: a man in his 70s was lying in a massive pool of blood in the kitchen. The victim attempted to crawl to the officer, who told him to remain still, as help was on the way. The officer then returned outside to take care of the injured woman.

Additional police units and ambulances arrived to treat the two severely injured seniors while the suspect’s car was intercepted nearby by police after a brief chase, and a male in his 20s was placed under arrest.

The victims, later identified as the suspect’s grandparents, received emergency treatment and later recovered from their injuries.

For their quick and smart decisions and professionalism, 2018 Quebec Police Awards are presented to Sébastien Bourassa, Mélissa Brochu, Yannick Hamel, Benjamin Leblanc and Benoit Pellerin of the Sherbrooke Police Service.

On the evening of June 15, 2018, a 48-year-old man was surfing on the St. Lawrence River near Montreal’s Habitat 67 at a designated surfing spot known by kayakers and surfers for its strong waves when he lost his footing and was swept away by the current. Simon Hébert, a vacationing Sûreté du Québec officer stationed in Joliette, was boating nearby with friends when onlookers alerted him about a body floating in the river.

Hébert sped to where the man was located and, with the help of his friends and a couple on a nearby watercraft, successfully lifted the victim to safety. Hébert then performed CPR, assisted by the woman from the watercraft, before the man was taken to hospital, where he eventually received a clean bill of health.

For his quick intervention and reflex to use whatever means was at his disposal, and for his tireless CPR efforts that saved the life of a stranger, a 2018 Quebec Police Award is presented to Simon Hébert of the SQ.

On the afternoon of May 19, 2018, Sgt. Steve Vachon of the Memphremagog Police Service responded to a call about a motorist who had just suffered a stroke at a busy intersection on Sherbrooke Street in Magog. The man’s car had struck another vehicle, prompting one of its occupants to get out of the car and noticing that the doors of the unconscious man’s vehicle were locked.

Vachon, joined by an ambulance, spotted a tow truck and borrowed a hammer to smash the rear window of the vehicle, before extricating the victim and performing CPR. Ambulance technicians took over and transported the man to hospital. He was later reported to have made a full recovery.

Police officers cited for Quebec Police Awards are nominated each year by their peers, but in this case, Vachon’s name was also put forward by the wife of the man saved by Vachon. Without his quick intervention, she told police, her husband would not be alive today.

For his rapid intervention, reaction, determination and for following the protocol needed to save a life, a 2018 Quebec Police Award is presented to Steve Vachon of the Memphremagog Police Service.

At 3 a.m. on July 8, 2018 RCMP officers in Valleyfield were alerted by their Sûreté du Québec colleagues that a two-year-old autistic boy named Ryland had slipped away from his parents seven hours earlier, and had not been seen since. It is at this time that a major joint search party was immediately put into effect, using police drones, canine units and aerial searches. Police also used the church in Dundee as a command post.

Twelve hours after going missing, a team of three RCMP officers and a member of the SQ heard the sounds of a child crying while conducting a ground search in a heavily wooded area. The child’s parents told police that their autistic child always responded to the word “chocolate”, so the officers made their way through the thick brush and branches under a stifling heat, shouting “chocolate!” as they moved closer to the crying child.

At the edge of a field, the officers found Ryland crouched in the foetal position and immediately alerted the command post before carrying the child to safety. When the team emerged from the forest, the little boy was smiling and wearing one of the officers’ police hats.

For their immediate involvement, their solidarity and a gutsy determination to locate a missing child, 2018 Quebec Police Awards are presented to Dale Roy, Kyle Mink, and Jeremy Poissant of the RCMP, and to Michel Lapointe of the SQ.

Slightly past 7:30 p.m. on a bitterly cold January 29, 2017, a team of Quebec City Police officers raced to the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, where incoming 911 calls reported multiple gunshots and injuries. When Sgt. Jonathan Filteau and his unit arrived on the scene, they were met by a scene of absolute chaos and carnage, with six dead and scores injured.

Filteau immediately took control of the crime scene, assigning his officers and other responding units to a host of emergency tasks, including treating victims, establishing a security perimeter and implementing a crisis management operation, which lasted several hours and late into the night.

For his leadership, his overall evaluation of the scene, his ability to prioritize tasks and for his compassion towards the victims and his colleagues, a 2018 Quebec Police Award is presented to Sgt. Jonathan Filteau of the Quebec City Police Service.

Police officers who first arrived on the scene of the tragic January 29, 2017 mosque shooting in Quebec City had to think and respond fast — as was the case for Francis Simard of the Quebec City Police Service.

Simard and his officers had to deal with scores of injured and utter chaos. After securing a section of the mosque, Simard focused his attention on a seriously injured man who was lying on the floor and losing a lot of blood. Simard had to act quickly.

With no medical tools at his disposal, the officer looked around and found a mover`s belt and a rubber hose, which he used as a tourniquet to stem the bleeding on the victim. Moments later, paramedics arrived and rushed the man to hospital. Simard’s makeshift treatment would later prove to be a lifesaver for the injured man, whose life was saved that night.

For his quick thinking, ingenuity and initiative as a first responder to use any means possible to save a stranger’s life, Francis Simard of the Quebec Police Service is presented with a 2018 Quebec Police Award.

In late July of this year, Daniel Anctil of the Trois-Rivières Police Service and his family were vacationing at a Prince Edward Island beach when he and his brother spotted a woman and her two young daughters in distress. The waves were high and strong, and the group’s inflatable mattresses were being swept away at sea, along with the woman and her children.

Anctil’s brother, noticing that there were no lifeguards around, decided to jump into the water and began swimming in the direction of the stranded family. Anctil saw his brother in action, but said he was not worried because both he and his brother are excellent swimmers, and in 2015, Anctil won a police bravery award for jumping into the St. Lawrence River to rescue a suicidal man. As Anctil watched from the shore, his brother managed to pull the two girls to safety, but he was out of breath and exhausted, prompting Anctil to swim out to rescue the mother.

After the family was safely brought back to shore, Anctil and his brother were applauded by a crow that had gathered. Anctil also learned that the rescued woman and her children could not swim.

For his heroic actions that day, and for remaining calm in the face of potential tragedy, Daniel Anctil of the Trois-Rivières Police Service is presented with a 2018 Quebec Police Award.

In 2003, Michel Larouche, an investigator assigned to the Sûreté du Québec’s crime victims’ services regularly met with families of murdered victims and representatives from the province’s Crime Victims Assistance Centre (CVAC). That same year, during the course of an investigation in Montreal, Larouche realised that CVAC’s resources were rather limited. In fact, Larouche would also discover that CVAC had no specific program aimed at offering services to spouses and children of murdered victims.

Larouche immediately launched a fundraising program that would bring together one of his life’s passions — motorcycles — and one of his greatest hockey idols — Guy Lafleur. The event would be known as the Harfang bike rally, and Larouche imagined Lafleur as the event’s honorary president. The police officer’s tenacity would pay off, as Lafleur immediately agreed to participate in the rally. The inaugural event took place in 2003, with 17 motorcyclists, including Lafleur, police officers and prison guards. A year later, Larouche’s SQ colleagues embarked, providing logistics and sponsors. The annual event would soon grow to 200 participants and cover a distance of 300 kilometres throughout the Montérégie, Lanaudière, the Laurentians, Bois-Francs and, of course, Lafleur’s hometown of Thurso.

The rally has become so popular that the Blue Knights, municipal police services and the SQ are now called in to lead the one-kilometre-long motorcycle delegation.

Neither rain, sun, wind nor cold can dampen the spirits of the participants, including Guy Lafleur, who is present at every annual event and generously takes part in photo sessions, media blitzes, autograph sessions and the end-of-rally banquet.

In 15 years, the Harfang rally has raised over $210,000 for a host of organizations, including CVAC, the Mira Foundation, the Association des Familles de Personnes Assassinées ou Disparues, the Fondation les Petits Trésors, the Fondation Communautaire de la Sûreté du Québec and Réchaud-Bus, an initiative started by STM employees to provide warm meals and beverages to children in underprivileged neighbourhoods in Montreal.

To thank them for their commitment and fundraising efforts spanning 15 years, 2018 Quebec Police Awards are presented to Michel Larouche of the Sûreté du Québec and to Guy Lafleur of the Montreal Canadiens.

Lac des Deux-Montagnes Police officer Christopher Harding has been a youth division officer for 10 years. He’s also a veritable lover of hockey who, for the past five years, has implemented a program that allows kids from 11 local primary schools to join his hockey team.

Harding’s team is called Les Forces, and each Saturday, the kids play for free at an arena offered by the Town of Deux-Montagnes. The players’ equipment is donated by the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA), which also offers free visits of the Bell Sportsplex in Brossard, where the Montreal Canadiens practice.

Harding not only serves as the team’s coach and helps players improve their skills, but also mentors them, teaching them to be good ambassadors, off and on the ice, while maintaining good grades in school. Teachers and parents praise the hockey program, saying that in the past five years, students’ grades have improved, along with their self-esteem and confidence.

Harding has worked hard to find sponsors, showing commitment and dedication to the cause, but he has also received the support of a team of fellow officers, who help coach the kids, prepare material, gather equipment and host an end-of -year awards banquet for the players. The result: players have established tight bonds with the police officers, knowing that if they need help at any time, they know a police officer will always be available to assist them.

While the NHLPA is known for donating hockey equipment to underprivileged kids, it is the first time in its history that a partnership has been made with a police service. Harding’s program, meanwhile, is already attracting the interest of two other police departments — one in a suburb of New York City and another in Toronto — who are currently in talks with the NHLPA to set up the same program.

For his dedication, creativity, energy and his ability to motivate and develop a sense of teamwork among his players and his colleagues, and for his success in mobilizing parents, teachers and entire schools in his region, a 2018 Quebec Police Award is presented to Christopher Harding of the Lac des Deux-Montagnes Police Service.

Three officers from MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais Public Security are called to a home on the morning of July 25, 2016, where a man has just reported his wife, who has Alzheimers, missing. The residence sits next to a small cliff that overlooks a river.

A quick search by the officers locates the woman, who is clutching a large rock in the river. She is disoriented and suffering from hypothermia, and the currents are very strong. Constable Emmanuelle Chamberland jumps into the water and reaches the woman, while her colleagues form a small human chain to lead them back to the shore. Chamberland lifts the woman into her arms and climbs the embankment, where paramedics are waiting to rush the woman to hospital.

Several hours later, a man calls police to say that he is going to commit suicide by jumping into Lake Meech. Chamberland and her two partners respond. On their way to the call, they cross Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s convoy. The last vehicle in the convoy is an RCMP vehicle with two officers aboard, who decide to offer help Chamberland and her colleagues.

When the teams of officers reach the lake, they can see a large white tube floating in the distance. They also search a nearby cabin and find life vests, prompting Chamberland and another officer to immediately swim out to the middle of the lake to reach the unconscious man.

It takes Chamberland 20 minutes to drag the man back to the shore, where her colleagues and paramedics are waiting, forming a human chain to finally bring the man and Chamberland to safety. Officers search the man’s backpack and discover that it is loaded with a large, heavy rock. The man is taken to hospital, where he is later given a clean bill of health.

For her heroics that day, where she led the way in saving two lives, Constable Emmanuelle Chamberland of MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais Public Security is presented with a 2018 Quebec Police Award.

Colossal work by a special Montreal Police Department team nabs fake home buyer who used sedatives to rob his many victims

In December 2017, the Montreal Police Department launched a special team to investigate a string of robberies against elderly people who were selling their homes. The lone suspect used the same method in each case, showing up at the victims’ residence, posing as a polite and friendly buyer, even presenting bottles of wine and chocolates laced with a powerful sedative. After eating the chocolates, the victims would fall asleep, allowing the suspect to rob them of their cash and jewelry.

Police at the time could only work with fuzzy surveillance camera images of the man and one side of his car. That’s when investigators called in software research specialists who were able to closely analyze phone call records. The suspect was identified thanks to the calls he made to set up meetings with the victims.

Others joined the investigation, including a Sûreté du Québec profiler, a Montreal Police Department polygraph expert, forensics and identity specialists, cyber investigators, as well as police in Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Toronto, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Canadian and U.S. Customs, the RCMP, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Interpol.

The investigation revealed that the Algerian-born suspect travelled extensively and had used the same tactic in various countries since 2001. Each time he would commit his crimes he would leave the country. The Montreal Police investigation helped to solve cases in Indonesia, Ile Maurice, Dubai, Costa Rica and Hong Kong.

On March 31 of this year, Hamid Chekakri, 47, was arrested by U.S. Marshals Service agents in Atlanta, where Montreal Police investigators flew in to scoop up Chekakri and bring him back to Montreal to face justice. Last week, he pled guilty in connection with one robbery, and is expected to submit a similar plea for all of the other cases.

For successfully resolving a host of robberies through a colossal amount of work and collaboration with other police services, both in Canada and abroad, 2018 Quebec Police Awards are presented to Richard Barrette, Jean-François Champagne-Sills, Michèle Lanteigne, Dominic Leblanc, Sarah-Claude Ménard, Isabelle Moreau, Mélanie Provencher and Caroline Raza of the Montreal Police Department, and to Stéphanie Brière of the Montreal Police Department’s research and planning division.

Tommy Fortier of the Montreal Police Department finished his shift at Station 13 in LaSalle on February 7, 2018 when, while driving home on southbound Champlain Bridge, noticed a car veering quickly from the left lane to the right lane, before stopping abruptly and turning its emergency flashers on.

Fortier immediately parked his car behind the stopped vehicle, ready to help, just as the driver got out of his car and climbed onto the concrete fence, ready to jump into the river below. Despite the man’s pleas to let him jump and his attempts to ward off his rescuer, Fortier managed to grab the man and pulled him away from the ledge. By this time, other motorists stopped to help. Fortier calmed the man down as they waited for paramedics to arrive.

For his quick reaction and his ability to remain calm in the face of a frantic stranger’s suicide attempt, Tommy Fortier of the Montreal Police Department is presented with a 2018 Quebec Police Award.

Two Montreal Police officers from Station 39 were on patrol in the city’s east end on the morning of June 28, 2017 when they received a call about a knife attack in progress at an apartment on Langelier Blvd. Racing to the scene, the officers learned from a witness outside the apartment building that a woman inside the apartment had just been stabbed. The officers could hear screaming as they entered the building, located the apartment and smashed down the door.

Once inside, officers saw a large and strong man brandishing a butcher’s knife, repeatedly stabbing a woman, covered in blood, lying on the floor, as she attempted to fend off her attacker. One of the officers immediately grabbed the suspect from behind and pushed him away from the victim.

Standing against a wall and still holding his knife, the suspect was ordered by both officers at gunpoint to surrender his weapon. The tense standoff finally ended as the officers apprehended the man and handcuffed him. The severely injured female victim was rushed to hospital and her life was saved.

For their courage, their immediate response to save a woman’s life while putting their own lives at risk, Jean-Philippe Boucher and Martin Décarie of the Montreal Police Department are presented with 2018 Quebec Police Awards.

At 7 p.m. on April 6, 2016, the Sûreté du Québec in Val d’Or received a call for help from police officers from the nearby Lac Simon native reserve who were attempting to arrest a man during a domestic violence call in which a man had been killed by a suspect armed with a machete during a tense standoff with police and local residents outside the residence, leading native officers to respond with gunfire.

SQ officers arrived on the scene but were turned away by a hostile crowd, leading to an extremely dangerous standoff as tensions rose. Tension was nothing new to this community, especially in the wake of an investigation six months earlier by the television show, Enquête, which looked into allegations of abuse of native women by SQ officers from Val d’Or, as well as the killing two months earlier of police officer Thierry Leroux in the same community.

An SQ sergeant took charge of the scene, assigning teams of native police and SQ officers to secure the scene and calm the angry crowd. Not only did the sergeant need to calm the hostile residents — some of whom were intoxicated and armed — he also needed to obtain their collaboration as he was now dealing with a murder scene. Peace was finally restored and the body of Sandy Michel was transported to a nearby hospital where he was officially declared dead.

For their teamwork, for keeping their cool and for their determination to get the job done under extremely intense and confrontational conditions, SQ officers Tania Benoit, Kellie Bourassa, Olivier Chamberland, Patrick Naud, Geneviève Sylvestre and François Carbonneau are recipients of 2018 Quebec Police Awards.