Sarah Groenewegen, the Kingston Police Mounted Police Officer, has been recognized for her work in the Kingston community.
“Sarah is the smiling sunshine of the Kingston Police,” reads the nomination page for this year’s Hero of the Year award. “She is also our Mounted Police Officer, representing the City in so many ways. Her constant best attitude and presence is incredible. The responsibilities of a Mounted Officer start early and end late in the day, and all of this while representing the uniform with honour. Her presence is felt whether in a car, on foot or on horseback.”
“Fair, caring and social makes her an amazing representative of the force,” the website continues. “She also allows countless tourists and visitors of the City to take pictures of her and the horse, making her most likely the most photographed Officer in the City. Modern policing is so much more than ‘making an arrest’ and this is why I feel that she is the real deal of law enforcement and a true representative of our community. She is always trying to make a positive difference.”
The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) facilitates the annual Police Services Hero of the Year Awards program, which provides the public with an opportunity to nominate and recognize their hero for the work they do on behalf of Ontarians. Nominations can be related to a specific event in which a Police Officer or a Civilian Police Services Employee went above and beyond the call of duty, or it can be in recognition for their ongoing support and involvement within their respective community.
Nominations are confidential, according to the Police Hero website, and individuals can nominate police personnel until March 15, 2021.
“It is an honour to be recognized and nominated for the Police Hero Award,” shared Const. Groenewegen. “I am very thankful to hear the positive comments about the work that I have done with Murney and the influence that I have had within the Community.”
“The Mounted Unit allows for a unique opportunity to build trust with individuals and enables an officer to build lasting relationships and community partnerships,” she continued. “I have experienced this first hand, over the past five years, while policing from the saddle. I am grateful, as I have built many relationships with business owners, tourists, downtown employees, the homeless, youth and many others that I will cherish.”
Groenewegen says Murney, her police horse, is often approached as a therapeutic escape for people suffering from mental health issues, and has made a huge impact within the Kingston community through highly visible proactive policing.
“I have had citizens state it’s the best part of their day seeing us out and trying to make a difference in our community. This position reminds me why I signed up to be a Police Officer and I take pride in knowing that I am impacting the community in a positive manner,” she said.
“I am truly honoured and thankful for the ongoing support with the nomination.”
The Police Services Hero of the Year Award winners will be announced during the Police Association of Ontario’s virtual Annual General Meeting in June.