Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad

Yellowknife auxiliary constables Francis Jackson, Ross Jen, Steve Pagotto, Linda Theil and Paul Stroeder each receive five-year service awards. Also pictured are RCMP "G" division chief superintendent Everett Summerfield (third from left), NWT premier Stephen Kafkwi (fourth from the left) and Justice Minister Roger Allen (back row). - Chris Puglia/NNSL photo

Helping hand for justice

Auxiliary constables honoured by police and community

Chris Puglia
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 30/02) - Yellowknife RCMP honoured the men and women who donate many hours to keep our streets safer.

The "G" division held a banquet Oct. 26 to recognize the efforts of 35 auxiliary constables from Yellowknife, Fort Simpson, Hay River and Fort Resolution.

"We decided to hold it in a regimental dinner format because auxiliaries (constables) don't normally get to see that," said "G" division Cpl. Wayne Norris, co-ordinator of the auxiliary constable program and banquet emcee.

In addition to the constables, guests included "G" division chief superintendent Everett Summerfield, NWT Premier Stephen Kafkwi, and Justice Minister Roger Allen.

During the dinner nine auxiliary constables -- five from Yellowknife and four from Hay River -- were presented with five-year service awards.

The Yellowknife constables honoured were Francis Jackson, Ross Jen, Steve Pagotto, Linda Theil and Paul Stroeder.

And Hay River auxiliary constable Jack Keefe received a special award -- the Commanding Officers Commendation. It is the second highest honour awarded by the RCMP. Keefe was recognized for his brave action in helping disarm a man with a knife.

Thousands of volunteer hours

The NWT auxiliary constable program began in 1995, and is supported financially by the territorial government.

"You have contributed to the safety and well-being of our communities," Allen told the auxiliary constables during the banquet.

"We are fortunate to have them," said Summerfield.

Auxiliary constables in the NWT put in over 4,600 hours of volunteer service annually to help the RCMP.

Some the duties include crime prevention, search and rescue, administration and crowd control.

Francis Jackson has been a Yellowknife auxiliary constable for six-and-a-half years, and he believes in the program.

"I've lived in Yellowknife for 26 years and I decided to get involved and give back to the community, and to set a good example as an aboriginal member of the community," said Jackson.