As part of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, 42 Division’s Chinese Community Liaison Committee (CCLC) honours an officer annually in the Division for outstanding service to the community.
This year’s winner was Sergeant Derek Byers recognized at a dinner on February 24 at a Scarborough restaurant.
The awards ceremony started six years ago.
“I am honoured by the recognition,” said Byers, who joined the Service in 1997 as a Communications Operator and has been officer with the Division for the past four years. “I enjoy working in this community because most of the residents are very accepting. In fact, they are the ones that inspire me. To be chosen for this award is a huge honour for me.”
Byers became a uniformed officer in 2001. He was assigned to 41 and 43 Division before joining 42 Division.
“As you can see, all of my postings have been in Scarborough and I have really relished the time I have been here,” he said. “The highlight of my career so far was being part of the Project Fusion team a few years ago when I was at 43 Division.”
Project Fusion culminated in a series of pre-dawn raids on April 1, 2009 that led to the dismantling of the 400 Crew and the Markham & Eglinton gang, 125 arrests and the seizure of guns, drugs, cash and vehicles.
Derek is very connected with the community
Auxiliary Staff Sergeant Fanny Lau was on the committee that selected Byers for the award.
“He’s very friendly and helpful and, during the summer, he’s on his bike with officers in the community interacting with its members,” said Lau, a CCLC member since 1999. “He’s also a good mentor to Auxiliary officers.”
Inspector David Vickers, the CCLC co-chair, said Byers deserves the recognition.
“He comes to work early and leaves long after his shift is ended,” Vickers pointed out. “He’s extremely dedicated, loved, respected and very community-minded.”
Staff Sergeant David Rydzik agreed.
“Derek is very connected with the community, very smart and tech-savvy,” he added. “He has a caring heart and excels at whatever task he’s assigned.”
Vickers and Rydzik joined CCLC co-chair Tom Chang, Fanny Lau and the Service’s Community Consultative Committee (CCC) members Jennifer Lau and Rosa Chan in presenting the award to Byers.
“He identifies issues affecting the community and comes up with solutions to address them,” said Chan, who is also a long-time CCLC member.