Chief Constable RJ Canuel Awards for Excellence in Crime Prevention
We are often asked, “Why does BC Borstal award VPD members for their work in crime prevention?” The answer is two-fold: one, our organization has a shared value in public safety, taking different approaches to the same challenge. The second ties in former Chief RJ Canuel directly who volunteered his time with BC Borstal to strengthen our service and bridge the work of these two great organizations. We have been strong partners ever since and have serving members on our Board of Directors. With support from key public figures like Raymond Canuel, BC Borstal has been able to proudly serve our community for over seven decades.
The Importance of Chief Constable Canuel
Chief Constable Raymond Canuel exemplified the traits that are natural to great leaders: courage, as a built-in pre-requisite for policing; morals, a code that speaks to character; and ethics, which can define a Constable’s abilities to advance through the ranks. Ray Canuel exhibited great leadership and at a very important time in VPD’s history; prior to his service as Chief, moral was very low across the ranks. When he assumed command as Chief in 1994, Ray Canuel met the front-line challenge by being available to the officers; acknowledging good work performance; and, in rebuilding a sense of pride in an officer’s accomplishments. Chief Canuel worked hard to invigorate every member with his optimism, empathy and kindness. With his exemplar character and leadership style, these attributes still serve as a compass for officers today who aim to keep our community safe with the highest levels of professional conduct. The Chief Constable RJ Canuel Awards honors the service of former Chief Raymond Canuel, and in his legacy, continues to acknowledge officers that work hard every day to keep our communities safe with their work in crime reduction and crime prevention.
The importance of crime prevention work
Crime prevention is the most important investment we can make in public safety. Our experience in seventy years of criminal justice work reveals common threads for those who place our safety at risk - and most of these threads begin to form in early development. Our responsibility is to proactively address those variables that can alter normal development, and impact public safety. With this philosophy as a catalyst to our work, BC Borstal values like organizations and individuals who show initiative and a humane drive to prevent crime , rather than simply addressing the crime once it has occurred. The Chief Constable RJ Canuel Award is a significant recognition of excellence in crime prevention, something our organization has been performing since 1998 (for a list of past recipients please visit https://www.bcborstal.ca/recipients
The Awards & BC Borstal
The late Chief Constable Ray J. Canuel was a committed and well-respected member of the BC Borstal Association’s Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee member. In recognition of Ray Canuel’s leadership and commitment, the Board of Directors of the Association created annual awards in his name recognizing members of the Vancouver Police Department who create innovative strategies and/or results in crime prevention. Upon Ray Canuel’s retirement the first award was presented to him on June 5th, 1997.
Since 1997 two awards have been presented at each of the Association’s Annual General Meetings: the Community Crime Prevention Excellence Award; and, an Award of Merit for Community Crime Prevention. At the time the awards were created, Chief Constable Canuel suggested that the following criteria be applied in the Police Officer Award selection:
A member who works on his or her own or with the community to develop or enhance existing programs that will reflect a high standard of safety and reduce crime in a neighbourhood
A member who has been identified by the community to have been the driving force in the development of a crime-free neighborhood
A member who has demonstrated leadership in getting the community involved in community policing and crime prevention initiatives