Every year the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award recognizes outstanding police performance in fighting crime against Canadian banks. Recipients of this prestigious award have gone above and beyond the call of duty while preventing and investigating crimes against Canada's financial institutions.
Since 1972, the Canadian Bankers Association has honoured 248 Canadian police officers. The Award is presented annually at a formal ceremony at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.
Protecting the security and safety of its employees and customers is a priority for the Canadian banking industry. Crimes affecting our banks range from robbery to high tech and highly organized fraud operations. Together our financial institutions and law enforcement agencies continue to partner in combating crime every day.
For more information on how you can help protect yourself from financial crime, click here.
The awards are presented to all active sworn members of law enforcement (active duty at the time of the incident), including Special Constables and sworn auxiliary Peace Officers.
The CBLEA is the highest award presented by the CBA to a sworn member of law enforcement (includes Special Constables and sworn auxiliary Peace Officers) for exceptional, achievement in an investigation involving the banking industry.1 This would include acts of bravery, courage and demonstrated resourcefulness in order to overcome investigative obstacles and extenuating circumstances to bring an investigation to a successful conclusion.
This award can be presented to an Individual or Group (Team). The criteria for nominations are as follows:
Individual: This award is presented to a member of law enforcement for a unique investigation (not just high profile) involving the banking industry. The officer has displayed exceptional diligence in order to overcome obstacles and extenuating circumstances. This award may also be presented in cases where the officer knowingly placed themselves at great risk (threat of serious bodily harm or death, imminent danger etc.) during the protection of life involving a bank employee, customer or bank property.
Group (Team): This award is presented to sworn members of Law Enforcement (includes sworn auxiliary Peace Officers) working in a group/taskforce/team investigation involving the banking industry. The results of the investigation (Project) demonstrate exemplary performance in overcoming extraordinary circumstances resulting in a successful conclusion to the investigation. Examples could include investigations for Robbery against a Bank (Branch) where employees and customers may be at risk, or fraudulent acts against a Bank or Banks, by an organized criminal group.
For more information about the criteria for the CBLEA and the nomination form, please click here.
The 2016 Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA) has been awarded to two individuals and two groups of police officers. The following 15 outstanding police officers are recipients of the award:
Left to right: Detective Staff Sergeant Darren Webster, Detective Dave Noseworthy, retired Sergeant Robert Krzyzaniak, Constable Brennan Lowrie, Detective Stephen Smith, Constable Adam Demers and Constable Robert Mitchelson.
Constable Robert Mitchelson and Constable Brennan Lowrie – Vancouver Police Department
Constables Robert Mitchelson and Brennan Lowrie of the Vancouver Police Department 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.
Vaulter Bandit case – 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)
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. A resident of France, police worked with authorities in Europe to track his movements, leading to his arrest in Switzerland on September 15, 2016. Through a high level of cooperation and the demonstration of exemplary investigative skills, the Canadian police and their European counterparts were able to arrest one of Canada’s most violent and prolific bank robbers.
Project Springston – 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)
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.
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 over 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.