Kingston Police Sergeant Melanie Jefferies has been nominated for the Police Association Of Ontario’s 2020 Police Services Hero of the Year award for the work she has done in supporting victims of traumatic events.
“Sergeant Melanie Jefferies rerouted my life and ultimately my recovery after disclosing a childhood secret,” says the anonymous nomination.
“For 20 years I was committed to keeping my childhood kidnapping, sexual assault and near death a secret, convincing myself that nobody would believe me. I was at a point of a mental breakdown before coming forward and Sergeant Jefferies demonstrated incredible empathy and integrity towards me and my struggles. She is honest and trustworthy and was more of a therapist than my actual therapist was during the court process.”
“Sergeant Jefferies is proactive and has tremendous caliber of character. Remarkably she was instrumental in Kingston Police Force receiving Vern.”
Vern, explains the nomination, is a seven-year-old canine assistance intervention (CAI) dog who joined Kingston Police in 2015. The yellow lab/golden retriever mix was the first CAI dog to work with a police service in Ontario.
With Vern by her side, Sergeant Jefferies handles sensitive situations such as child interviews for sexual, physical abuse or other traumatic events, domestic violence victim interviews, assisting victims of elder abuse or victims encountered by the Vulnerable Sector Unit, assisting witnesses to traumatic events such as homicide and sudden death
investigations, death notifications, support for court testimony by victims under the age of 18, and other support for victims during and after traumatic events.
“Sergeant Jefferies is a genuine human being and a professional that leads by example,” reads the nomination.
Sergeant Jefferies joins another Kingston Police officer, Constable Fil Wisniak, in being nominated for the honour.
The Police Services Hero of the Year Award winners will be announced at the Police Association of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting in May 2020.