Four Nova Scotia RCMP women received awards at the 2013 Atlantic Women in Law Enforcement (AWLE) conference earlier this month.
The AWLE conference is held annually throughout the Atlantic Provinces.
This year it was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island from November 5-8. Approximately 100 candidates attended the three day event which included guest speakers on a variety of police-related topics.
Cst. Kate McQuaid of Federal Policing was awarded the AWLE Excellence in Performance award. This was for work related to an investigation into the illegal use of medical marijuana licenses by an organized crime group. The investigation involved officers from the RCMP, Halifax Regional Police and Truro Police Service. Over the course of the investigation, there were numerous residential locations searched, 29 individuals arrested, 124 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges and Criminal Code charges laid, 8 properties restrained, and 5 vehicles, 5 long guns, 21 kg dried marijuana, 2,207 marijuana plants, $100,000 cash and $250,000 worth of grow equipment seized.
Three officers from Southwest Nova District RCMP also received awards.
‘I am so proud of these women and all they have contributed to the RCMP in Nova Scotia,’ said Supt. Sylvie Bourassa-Muise, District Policing Officer of Southwest Nova Scotia. ‘The talent and devotion they bring to their job each day is inspiring and these awards are a great way to recognize all that they do.’
Sgt. Leanne MacDonald of Windsor Detachment received the AWLE Award for Leadership. As the first African Nova Scotian female hired by the RCMP in Nova Scotia, she directly supervises 22 employees who work in a variety of areas. In this capacity, she is responsible for employee development and providing supervision and mentoring. Coming out of an administrative role, Sgt. Macdonald took it upon herself to become re-acquainted with District operations, allowing her to not only supervise her staff, but work alongside them. This has proved to be a very positive influence on the members.
Cst. Brandy Steeves is currently a member of the Bridgewater detachment as a School Safety Resource Officer. Cst. Susan Foote recently retired from the Chester detachment.
Prior to these postings, both members worked out of the Lunenburg County RCMP detachment where they created the Lunenburg County RCMP Youth Advisory Committee and Name the Shame initiative. The committee was created to raise awareness about bullying and youth issues, provide resources and information to the community, develop leadership skills in the area of public speaking and the media, and focus on current youth issues. The initiative was created to prevent harassment and abuse and strengthen knowledge and awareness around sexual harassment, abuse and relationship violence. These timely topics have broad implications for law enforcement and this great work earned Cst. Brandy Steeves and Cst. Susan Foote winners the 2013 AWLE Team Endeavor Award.
Photo from left to right, Cst. Brandy Steeves, Cst. Susan Foote, Sgt. Leanne MacDonald & Supt. Sylvie Bourassa-Muise.