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Fifteen officers win law enforcement award

Dedication, courage, teamwork and innovative law enforcement techniques earned two individuals and two groups of police officers the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA). Through the officers' tireless efforts and collaboration, two bank robbers and members of a large organized crime group have been arrested.


August 22, 2016
By Canadian Security
Through the efforts of the award-winning officers

The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) recognized fifteen police officers during an awards ceremony at the 111th annual Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Ottawa.

“Security is a top priority for Canadian financial institutions, which is why they work closely with police services across the country to help protect their employees and customers,” said Malcolm Chivers, director of corporate security at the Canadian Bankers Association. “The CBLEA is our way of recognizing outstanding police work and honouring these officers for their efforts to combat crime against Canada’s banks, their employees and their customers.”

Constables Robert Mitchelson and Brennan Lowrie of the Vancouver Police Department were among those receiving the Law Enforcement Award. The two were unarmed and off-duty when they caught a bank robber in the act at a branch in Vancouver. Without hesitation or regard for their own safety, Mitchelson and Lowrie blocked the bank’s exits as the suspect tried to escape. A violent struggle ensued in which Mitchelson and Lowrie worked collaboratively to contain the suspect until on-duty officers arrived.

The incident resulted in the capture of a high risk offender.

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A group award was presented to York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and Toronto Police Service for the Vaulter Bandit case.

Between 2010 and 2015, the Vaulter Bandit committed 21 bank robberies in multiple cities across the country and remained unidentified, becoming one of the most notorious bank robbers in Canadian history.

According to the CBA, in May 2015, investigators from York, Peel and Toronto Police Services pooled their resources and, through forensic evidence and joint efforts with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, were able to identify Jeffrey Shuman. Shuman was a resident of France, so local police worked with authorities in Europe to track his movements, leading to his arrest in Switzerland on September 15, 2015.

The winners of the group award are: Detective Douglas Cole (York Regional Police), Detective Dave Noseworthy (York Regional Police), Detective Stephen Smith (Toronto Police Service), Detective Constable Sean Whittaker (York Regional Police), Constable Steven Daly (Peel Regional Police) and Constable Adam Demers (Peel Regional Police).

Another group award was presented to Halton Regional Police, Hamilton Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police for Project Springston.

Joint fraud investigations by the Halton Regional Police, the Hamilton Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and several Canadian bank security experts with support from the Canadian Bankers Association led to the seizure of a large-scale, highly organized identity theft ring operating across Canada. Using malicious software and email phishing, the criminal organization was stealing personal information and using it to drain its victims’ bank accounts.

Following raids in Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton, the police task force seized the organization’s main identity theft laboratory, believed to be one of the most sophisticated in operation in Canada at the time. The multijurisdictional task force untangled a complex web of criminals, laying more than 200 charges against 37 individual suspects. Thanks to their teamwork and diligence in this national investigation, the law enforcement members of Project Springston were able to identify the criminal masterminds of this multi-million dollar fraud ring.

The winners of the group award are: Detective Staff Sergeant Darren Webster (Ontario Provincial Police), retired Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant Robert Krzyzaniak now of CIBC Corporate Security, Detective Sergeant Robin McKay (Ontario Provincial Police), Sergeant Mark Clausen (Hamilton Police Service), Detective Constable Randy Smith (Ontario Provincial Police), Constable Derek DiFelice (Halton Regional Police), and Constable Francois Picard-Blais (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).