A pair of Saanich Police officers have earned B.C.’s highest honour for negotiating with a distraught and suicidal Saanich man armed with a shotgun.
Sgt. Trevor Dyck (along with a fellow Saanich Police officer) received the Award of Valour at the 35th annual B.C. Police Honours night for placing himself at personal risk in a June 9 incident. Dyck was assisted by another officer (who has requested not to be named) when they responded to a call and encountered an intoxicated male wielding a shotgun.
“It was exceptionally challenging for all involved,” said Saanich Police Chief Bob Downie. “Their actions had a direct impact on preventing the distraught male from ending his own life.”
The male was in a backyard and in possession of a loaded shotgun, threatening suicide.
Dyck and his partner assumed rear containment points in a neighbouring yard where they began negotiating with the subject.
Dyck’s partner spoke to the subject by yelling his name and by letting him know the Saanich Police were present and to “put the shotgun down,” the Saanich Police report says.
The subject looked over to the partner but remained despondent.
On several occasions, the subject tried to place his toe into the trigger area of the shotgun while attempting to place the barrel under his chin.
After approximately an hour of negotiating, Dyck and his partner were able to convince the subject to eject the live shell from the shotgun and surrender to the partner.
“Both officers exhibited a great deal of bravery, calmness and professionalism throughout the entire incident,” said Downie.
Dyck and the officer have already been awarded the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Commendation for their demonstrated heroism, bravery and excellence in communication during a life-and-death situation.
In all, 22 officers received the award of valour, for putting themselves at substantial personal risk to save others. Another 44 officers were awarded meritorious service honours for exemplary performance that exceeds expectations.