Seldom do law enforcement Intelligence Services’ members get public recognition because their work is largely shrouded in secrecy.
When Nicole Campbell embarked on a project to build a database to track gun-related incidents, she wasn’t expecting any rewards.
The Toronto Police Service (TPS) research analyst was recognized with the Chief of Police Excellence Award on September 5, for creating an 85-page manual that allows users to easily navigate the database.
The honour surprised Campbell.
“When you are in Intelligence, you aren’t normally in the spotlight,” she said. “However, it’s nice to know that your supervisors recognize you are doing a good job and making a valuable contribution to the Service. It’s the first major award I have ever received in my career.”
As a member of the Strategic Assessment and Analysis Section, Campbell created several reports on the unit’s shooting database.
When Intelligence Services was realigned last January, she became a tactical analyst and was transferred to Operations.
“In this scenario, she realized that mentoring and training people to do her former job wouldn’t be enough,” said A/Superintendent Peter Code, the Intelligence Unit commander. “Nicole decided that the design of a step-by-step manual would be highly effective in making the use of the database more efficient. She firmly believed that if she had one of the manuals, it would have made her life a lot easier. That manual, which she prepared on her own time, is on the desk of everyone in the Strategic Assessment and Analysis Section.”
Campbell moved from the United States in 2013 to join her Canadian husband who works in the private sector.
She was an analyst with Broward County Sheriff’s Office for four years up until 2011.
Nicole Rebelo, who was the acting senior intelligence analyst at the time, nominated Campbell for the award.
“I oversaw the work she did and was able to see, first-hand, the effort and the amount of work she put in,” said Rebelo. “She’s amazing and I am very proud of her.”
Code said Campbell is a reflection of the other exceptional members in his unit who are fiercely dedicated to their jobs and are doing outstanding work.
“This is a sort of quasi-covert unit and there is a little bit of secrecy in terms of the work that’s going on,” he said. “As unit commander I see the great work they are doing, it’s just unbelievable. I couldn’t be prouder as a unit commander of our analysts and researchers who don’t always get the accolades they deserve. They are not asking for them. They understand their position doesn’t come with a lot of fanfare.”
The third annual Robert Qualtrough Memorial Award was presented to Detective Constable Jason Ngo of 53 Division.
In the wake of a rash of break-and-enters in his Division, Ngo reached out to victims and organized an information-sharing session so they could work together to come up with solutions.
“Through these sessions, victims who had suffered at the hands of the people committing the crimes had a chance to meet face-to-face,” he said. “Rather than using social media, this was an opportunity for people to sit down in a room and talk. It worked. Also, the sessions helped to bridge the gap between the Service and the community.”
Qualtrough, who served with distinction and honour during his 34 years with the Service, died in October 2014.
The award recognizes community and Service members for excellence and leadership in an innovative and effective police-community partnership.
Before the selection is made, the Qualtrough family is given an opportunity to review the candidates.
“We read their stories and are able to make some input,” said younger brother Jim Qualtrough. “They are all winners, but we recommend the one that best fits the criteria. This year’s winner is a good cop and he encouraged community engagement which is something Bob was all about.”
This is the second major honour that Ngo has received in the last four months. He was recognized by St. John’s Ambulance for his quick thinking that helped save the life a young girl in medical distress.
On September 8, 2016, Ngo and his partner were heading back to the station when a “hotshot” call came over the radio. When he arrived at the scene, he saw a man holding a child in his arms.
Realizing she didn’t have a pulse, even though her airway didn’t seem to be obstructed, Ngo performed CPR and was able to revive her.
A total of 117 uniformed and civilian members were honoured with Service awards which recognize acts of bravery, exceptional performance and dedicated service.
Acting Chief Shawna Coxon congratulated the winners and encouraged their families to relish the moment.
“Their award is your award and, as we celebrate excellence in service, we want you to just come up and be part of this extraordinary evening honouring our exceptional members,” she said.
Toronto Police Services Board Chair Andy Pringle said the honourees deserve the organization’s praise and admiration for their selfless acts of bravery and excellence in the performance of their duty.
“For our board, it is important to recognize individuals such as those we are celebrating today, whose dedication and heroism make our city a better place,” he said. “The uniformed members we honour this evening have far exceeded their already demanding day-to-day activities. They are living examples of our Service’s core values… The civilian members have also given us much to be proud of. Their actions inspire each one of us to strive for new heights of professionalism and service to the community… I know that I speak for many when I say that I am honoured to be part of a city and a police service that boasts individuals of such outstanding calibre.”