By Charlotte Prong Parkhill
Kitchener Post staff
Patricia Cushing stood in freezing, muddy water, holding a man’s head up after his car flipped over into a water-filled field. She saved him from drowning.
Cindy and Joshua Stephens spotted something moving on the side of a wintry road. They turned around and eventually found a nearly naked man, suffering from hypothermia. They stayed with him until help arrived.
Matthew McAnally jumped out of his car and helped police with an erratic man who had bitten one officer and headbutted another.
These were just a few of the ordinary citizens who received special citations from the police for their extraordinary efforts.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service awards night held Tuesday at Bingeman’s also included recognition for 15 officers who made outstanding contributions in their work.
“This event really does embody who we are as a police service,” said Chief Matt Torigian.
“You’ll see what an incredible community we live in.”
Const. Clint Nash and Const. Mark Matthews were given the citation of merit for rescuing a woman and her two small children from a house fire, while Sgt. Jennifer Davis, Const. Mike Simons and Const. Blair Slade were given a team-policing award for their work on a sexual assault case.
A woman who had been confined and assaulted for two days showed up at a hospital with some of the most serious sexual assault injuries a worker there had ever seen.
With support and skill, the policing team worked with the terrified and reluctant witness, whose family had been threatened.
Her attacker was eventually arrested, convicted and sentenced to more than nine years in prison.
Melanie Leeder and retired Const. Carl Smit earned awards for 35 years of service, and 70 other officers and civilian staffers were recognized for 15 or more years of service.