Constable Fil Wisniak, a 10-year veteran of the Kingston Police Force, has won the Police Association Of Ontario’s 2020 Police Services Hero of the Year award for his quick and life-saving actions during a fatal stabbing incident in downtown Kingston last year.
On September 12, 2019, a 22 year old male began stabbing pedestrians at a downtown Kingston intersection. The nomination states that Constable Fil Wisniak – a 10 year veteran of the Kingston Police – was on foot when the call came in. Wisniak, 2 blocks away from the incident at the time, sprinted to the call. Upon his arrival, one man had been fatally stabbed and another man was being attacked. “Constable Wisniak intervened without hesitation,” says the nomination, “the male was about to attack a woman who was attempting to provide aid to one of the victims.”
Wisniak can be seen on multiple passersby videos putting himself between the male and the woman, preventing him from stabbing her. Wisniak then attempts to contain the male at gunpoint and plead with him to drop the knife.
The male brandishing the knife charged at Constable Wisniak and he shoots the male once, making the attacker back away. The male then begins to stab himself repeatedly before being restrained. The male later succumbed to the self inflicted stab wounds.
“I had the privilege of supervising Fil for the past two years, and I feel that his quick response and actions on that day saved the life of one of the stabbing victims, the woman who was trying to help, and perhaps many more,” said the nominating officer in the submission.
“He demonstrated restraint, compassion and professionalism putting himself in harm’s way to protect others.”
The incident was the subject of a Special Investigations Unit investigation, in which Cst. Wisniak’s actions were deemed appropriate given the circumstances. “It is clear the complainant was on the cusp of launching a knife attack on the subject officer when the officer fired his weapon. It is also clear that the subject officer had no other option if he was going to preserve himself from a potentially lethal attack,” said the SIU report, adding that “Cst. Wisniak’s quick actions most likely saved the lives of two civilians.”