The British Columbia Women in Law Enforcement (BCWLE) is excited to announce the winners of the second annual BCWLE Recognition Awards are Heather Wilson with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), Sergeant (Sgt.) Kristina Paech with the Surrey Police Service (SPS), Staff Sergeant (Staff Sgt.) Michelle Hansen with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police (Transit Police), and Sergeant (While-So-Employed) (Sgt. [WSE]) Dan Pain with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).
On April 13, 2023, the BCWLE held their second annual Conference and Awards Luncheon in Langley, British Columbia which featured keynote speaker, Michelle Douglas, who served as a military police officer in the Canadian Armed Forces until she was honourably discharged in 1989 as part of the military’s “LGBT Purge”. Michelle brought a landmark legal challenge that formally ended the military’s policy of discrimination against LGBT service members. During the conference the BCWLE announced that Heather Wilson, Sgt. Kristina Paech, Sgt. Michelle Hansen, and Sgt. (WSE) Dan Pain, were recognized by their peers for their outstanding contributions in their police agencies. An impressive list of nominees from law enforcement agencies across British Columbia were submitted by their peers to the BCWLE Awards Committee. These nominations recognized innovation, coaching and mentoring, leadership, and allyship.
Heather Wilson was recognized for the Innovation Award as a civilian member who created a software program called HELIO to automate the disclosure of investigative files and to meet the requirements of the new MOU on disclosure between Crown Counsel and the police. HELIO has already saved tens of thousands of hours that would have been spent on manual data entry, resulting in timely disclosure and avoiding delay arguments by Defense Counsel.
Sgt. Kristina Paech was recognized for the Mentoring and Coaching Award as a female officer who developed the Recruit and Field Training Program at SPS from its inception. Sgt. Paech has established a systematic process to integrate the Police Academy curriculum, Recruit Development On-boarding, and Field Training within SPS. Sgt. Paech’s enthusiasm, and her supportive and engaging leadership has led to understanding the needs of recruits and field training officers to optimize the experience for all SPS members.
Staff Sgt. Michelle Hansen was recognized for the Leadership Award as a female officer who has provided instruction, guidance and advice to members of her squad to help them improve their job performance, while working collaboratively and fostering a positive work environment. Staff Sgt. Hansen has actively sought out training opportunities for her team and encouraged them to take on projects to build their skills. Staff Sgt. Hansen has created initiatives to support and empower her colleagues such as the Constables Committee, as well as a one-day workshop and mentoring day for all sworn female officers with Transit Police, and the Leadership Library.
Sgt. (WSE) Dan Pain was recognized for the Ally Award as an officer who has been a reliable and consistent member of BCWLE since its creation. He collaborates with BCWLE members to promote and expose the association. Sgt. Pain champions the BCWLE in his role as the VPD Recruit Coordinator. He is respected for his progressive thinking and is a role model to recruits with respect to inclusivity and acceptance. Sgt. Pain is an unequivocal proponent for women in policing and provides an equitable environment for police women to be seen and have their voices heard.
The BCWLE is a non-profit organization whose vision is to strengthen, unite and promote women in law enforcement in the province of British Columbia. To learn more about the BCWLE and to become a member, go to: www.bcwle.ca/membership/