An Ontario Provincial Police officer was recently awarded for his work to reduce impaired driving in northwestern Ontario.

OPP Const. Steve Jacko was recipient of the Terry Ryan Memorial Award for Excellence in Police Services by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada.

“I try to focus on community safety and my number one priority is public safety,” said the Wikwemikong band member. “I had a family member killed by an impaired driver and I know how traumatic an impact it has on the entire family and also the entire community.”

Jacko has attended many motor vehicle collisions where people were killed or seriously injured by impaired drivers during his 23 years with the OPP.

“Impaired driving remains the leading criminal cause of death in Canada,” Jacko said. “Plan ahead and always have a friend or family member pick you up where you are attending the function. Or grab a taxi. Don’t drink and drive — if you are questioning yourself, don’t drive.”

The Terry Ryan Memorial Award for Excellence is awarded annually for a significant contribution of police services in helping to reduce impaired driving. Const. Ryan died in 2002 in a two-car alcohol-related crash on his way home from a police function in the Durham Region of Ontario.

Jacko first became interested in police work due to his father’s position as chief of police with the Wikwemikong Tribal Police.

“That encouraged me to follow the same path as my father,” Jacko said. “I noticed that my dad used to care for the community and was always helping out with the community.”

Jacko studied Law and Security at Cambrian College before joining the OPP in 1990.

“I was posted at the Kenora OPP detachment and I did most of my policing here in this general area in Kenora, Grassy Narrows, Minaki and Sioux Narrows,” Jacko said. “The policing is great here — we just recently took over the City of Kenora three years ago.”

Jacko worked in traffic enforcement at the Kenora detachment for the first four years before transferring over to the Grassy Narrows detachment.

“I wanted to get more familiar with the criminal aspects of investigation, which is why I transferred there,” Jacko said. “It was a great experience. There were quite a few serious calls involving murders, assaults.”

Jacko also met many community members while in Grassy Narrows.

“I got to know the people really well,” Jacko said. “I always attended at their school, did some short presentations and also I was part of the team that was developing the Tribunal Court in Grassy Narrows under the Indian Act charges regarding intoxication.”

Jacko said the Tribunal Court featured a panel of six people from the community who decided the punishments for the people charged for intoxication.

Jacko currently works regular patrol but spends a great majority of his time dedicated to combating impaired driving in the Kenora area. He laid a total of 59 impaired related driving charges in 2012 and as of Sept. 1 this year, he has laid a total of 42 impaired driving charges.  Jacko was recently recognized for being in the top 10 of all OPP officers for traffic statistics, and he also received the Ontario Provincial Police Regional Commander’s Letter of Recommendation for exemplary effort and skills with respect to his job.

Source: Wawatay News


Last updated on: 2013-11-25 | Link to this post