On Monday, December 12th, at 4:20 pm one of our members, Audrey, was robbed of her purse while walking in the 500 block of Simcoe Street. She was on her way home when a man rode up beside her on an old bicycle. He reached out and grabbed her purse and pulled it off her shoulder. Audrey was thrown to the ground and broke her shoulder.
Officers from the Patrol Division “B” Watch of the Victoria Police Department responded to the 911 call. Cst. Justin Munro and Cst. Craig Barker were the first on the scene. Concerned for Audrey's well-being Cst. Munro stayed with Audrey while waiting for the ambulance, kneeling by her, allowing her to rest as comfortably as possible given her shock and pain. Spending this time together, police officer and robbery victim developed a close bond.
The other officers of Patrol Division “B” Watch searched for the suspect, keeping in contact with Cst. Munro, ensuring that Audrey was both comfortable and safe. The pursuit for the suspect continued throughout the night to no avail.
Upon hearing of Audrey’s unfortunate incident, I immediately contacted her and her family to see if there was anything that the members and staff could do to offer assistance. After several phone calls, Audrey spoke of the remarkable support she had received from the Victoria Police Department. She felt as though the men and women who responded to her need went above and beyond the call of duty.
After Audrey had recovered from her injuries and had returned to ASEL chair aerobics classes at the centre, I felt that we should organize an opportunity to express our gratitude to the Victoria Police Department patrol services sergeant and officers of B-Watch. What a task trying to coordinate the B-Watch’s shifts with the ASEL schedule proved to be!
Thanks to the assistance of our members and also a volunteer at the police department, Carole Forbes, the B-Watch was able to come to the Centre on February 23rd. With six police cars parked outside we became the talk of James Bay! Sylvia Cavanaugh, our board president, presented Cst. Munro with a certificate of appreciation and gave the other officers each a bag filled with various JBNH gifts. Audrey was able to express her thanks to her friend Cst. Justin Munro with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
The officers were invited to stay and participate in the ASEL exercises but had to decline as they were on patrol and needed to attend to other matters.
This event was met with a lot of positive feedback, and my hope is that we are able to participate in more activities with the Victoria Police Department under more upbeat circumstances.
- Kim Dixon, executive director