Van de Vorst Awards

Cst. Alanna Coghill, Cst. Sarah Kristy, Cst. Ryan Lundquist, Cst. Brandon Braun, Cst. Payton Denet, and Cst. Jacques Geyer of the Moose Jaw Police Service were recognized on Wednesday afternoon (November 15, 2023) for their efforts in taking impaired drivers off roadways.

Each member received the Van de Vorst Family Award, which was established five years ago by Linda and Lou Van de Vorst to honour their son and his family who were killed by an impaired driver in 2016. The awards were presented by MADD Canada in partnership with SGI and the Van de Vorst family.

Officers who charged between eight and 16 impaired drivers during the last calendar year (April 1 to March 31) received a Silver Challenge Coin and a certificate of recognition. Those who charged 17 or more were presented with a Gold Challenge Coin and new this year, the Platinum Award, for officers that have removed 40 or more impaired drivers from the roads.

Cst. Coghill, who is part of the Community Policing Division achieved 15 suspensions or impaired driving charges (5 Criminal Code charges and 10 license suspensions). She was awarded a Silver Challenge Coin.

“This is the recognition that you’re doing the right thing and making the community a safer place for all,” Coghill says. “Additionally, you’re making sure your co-workers are going home safe at the end of the night and the community as well.”

Cst. Kristy, who is also a part of the Community Policing Division has excelled in removing impaired drivers from the roads. This past calendar year, Cst. Kristy has charged nine motorists (7 Criminal Code charges and 2 license suspensions), which earned her a Silver Challenge Coin.

“The simple fact is that impaired drivers steal lives from our communities every single day. Every arrest or license suspension that saves a life, is a win, and I’ll take any chance I can” adds Cst. Kristy.

Cst. Lundquist is part of the Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS) Unit within the MJPS and nabbed 17 motorists (10 Criminal Code charges and 7 license suspensions). Cst. Lundquist earned himself a Gold Challenge Coin.

“I am honoured to receive this Van de Vorst Award for removing impaired drivers from the streets. I went to University with Chanda Van de Vorst and knew both her and Quinn Stevenson through officiating hockey. Both were killed by impaired drivers. I take pride in removing impaired drivers from the streets and working to prevent other families from going through what the Van de Vorst’s and Stevenson’s had to go through.” notes Cst. Lundquist.

Another member of the CTSS is Cst. Braun who was recognized for his work in targeting impaired drivers. In total, Cst. Braun removed 26 motorists off the road (10 Criminal Code charges and 16 license suspensions). Cst. Braun was recognized with a Gold Challenge Coin.

Cst. Denet also was working hard at removing impaired drivers from the roadways. From April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, he removed a combined nine motorists for either impaired driving or a license suspension. Cst. Denet was given a Silver Coin.

Lastly, Cst. Geyer was the final member to be recognized with the Van de Vorst Family Award, as he removed 12 motorists from roadways (9 Criminal Code charges and 3 license suspensions) in and around Moose Jaw. He was presented with a Silver Coin.

From March 31, 2022, to April 1, 2023, MJPS members have laid 116 impaired charges and suspended 158 licenses.

In total 69 officers from various provincial, federal, municipal, and university agencies were recognized on Wednesday. Recipients in the ceremony were responsible for taking a combined 1666 impaired drivers off the road.

Wednesday’s event marked the 5th anniversary of the Van de Vorst Family Award.

If you or someone you know witnesses an impaired driver, call the Moose Jaw Police Service at 306-694-7600.