Fraser Valley – Provincial awards have been presented to four community leaders and a police officer to acknowledge their contributions to community safety, healing and prevention of victimization in British Columbia.
Two award winners come from the Fraser Valley.
The 21st annual Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards were presented to:
- Patti MacAhonic, Chilliwack:
- Winner of the Award of Distinction for her more than three decades of work reducing crime, enhancing community safety and supporting victims of crime and violence, MacAhonic is the executive director of Ann Davis Transition Society. She has set up temporary shelter housing for more than 135 women this year, along with opening a permanent specialized transition house. She has been active in raising awareness for domestic violence, women’s homelessness, women’s equality and prevention work, and has lobbied for legislative change for survivors and their children.
- Brenda Lochhead, Vancouver:
- Winner of the Services to Victims Award, which celebrates exemplary leadership in providing services and supports to victims, Lochhead has more than 25 years of experience in the anti-violence sector, where she supports victims in the Vancouver Police Department Counter Exploitation Unit. She provides services to victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of a co-ordination framework for supporting trafficked and exploited individuals, which has been recognized by other policing agencies.
- Michael Grandia, Delta:
- Winner of the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Award, which recognizes exemplary leadership through developing innovative projects and key activities or initiatives to promote safe communities, Grandia is a Delta Police Department constable. Serving for 12 years, Grandia works within the Operational Support Branch, assigned to Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN). He has been instrumental in developing the YoBro/YoGirl program in the TFN Crime Stoppers program. Along with campaigning for mental health awareness, Grandia helps the community on issues such as substance use, education, justice-based and youth programming, and community wellness.
- Mohammed Imtiaz Asin, Richmond:
- Winner of the Youth Leadership Award, which recognizes exceptional leadership and commitment to working with youth, Imtiaz Asin has supported youth for more than two decades, delivering workshops on teen suicide and gang violence, and providing sports activities to help empower Muslim youth and build their confidence. He is the vice-president of Youth Development Services for the BC Muslim Association, working to ensure youth stay connected with their culture. In 2013, Imtiaz Asin was selected by the U.S. Cultural Consulate Office to represent Canada in a state-funded program to understand the importance of cultural awareness and civic engagement.
- Joanne Field, Abbotsford:
- Winner of the Restorative Justice Memorial Award, which recognizes commitment to innovative partnerships that have advanced the work of restorative justice, Field helped found the Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association in 2001, where she has been the executive director for the past six years. She has worked on several initiatives to raise awareness for restorative justice and has won several awards for her work with youth. Field also sits on numerous boards and committees, including Abbotsford Youth Commission and the school district’s Drug Prevention Committee.
“These awards show everyone that each of us can make a difference to prevent crime, help victims of violence and make our communities safer,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “On behalf of the Province, I want to thank each of our award winners for the perseverance, commitment and passion they bring to their work.”
The awards acknowledge volunteers, non-profit organizations and other local public safety partners for work to reduce crime, violence and victimization in the community and support law enforcement and others in the justice sector. These efforts support provincial investments in policing, community safety and victim services.