Local 1995 member receives MADD award
In early October, an NSGEU member was recognized for his efforts to keep Nova Scotia’s roads safe.
Constable Brennan Burrows has been policing for ten years total, working on forces in Charlottetown, PEI, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, before finally returning home to Glace Bay to join the Cape Breton Regional Police service three years ago.
While working on the police force in Saskatchewan in 2013, he was working in a district that had a lot of traffic collisions and a lot of issues. He worked with the Combined Traffic Services of Saskatchewan on a pilot project designed at enforcement to try and lower fatalities, which ended up sparking a passion in Cst. Burrows for catching impaired drivers.
“It actually worked very well: our fatalities dropped drastically. It was at that point in time I realized that enforcement really does prevent this from happening, whether it’s through speeding tickets or impaired calls,” he explained.
Now, Cst. Burrows is one of four officers seconded with the Department of Justice Nova Scotia, teaching Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) and Standard Field Sobriety Testing to officers throughout the province. He also serves as the DRE coordinator for Cape Breton Regional Police, and points out that having more officers equipped to detect impaired drivers seems to have had a positive impact, so far:
“We have officers trained to go through the full evaluations, so our evaluations have doubled since last year, which is very good for our community down here,” he said.
Cst. Burrow’s efforts were recently recognized when he was awarded the 2019 Terry Ryan Memorial Award for Excellence in Police Service from MADD Canada.
MADD Canada established the award in memory of Constable Terry Ryan, an officer whose life ended tragically in May of 2002 when he was killed in a two-car alcohol-related crash on his way home from a police function. This award recognizes the significant contribution of police services in helping to reduce impaired driving. It is presented annually to recognize exemplary service by a police officer in reducing the incidence of impaired driving.
Cst. Burrows – who is also the President of the MADD Cape Breton chapter – was shocked even to be nominated for the national award.
“Then of course after the shock, I was very honoured to be receiving it, because I know that lots of officers do good work and they don’t get recognized for it.”
The honour was even greater when he found out more about the fallen officer the award was named after:
“I got to talking to people that did know Terry Ryan, including my Staff Sargent in Saskatoon, and they said he was a very enthusiastic young man. He was a good man and he was very passionate about his job.”
Cst. Burrows traveled to Scarborough, Ontario to receive the award in early October:
“Everyone thanks me, but there are a lot of officers that are out there doing a very good job and not getting recognized … I share this award with all the officers that are out there every day, that are catching impaired drivers,” he said.
He also added that he hopes the award helps inspire the next generation of officers.
“Policing is not a very attractive job for people. Those of us who are here need to dedicated, passionate and hardworking to show the up and comers that there are avenues, we can make it a great job, and there’s nothing else I’d rather do than this job.”
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