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 awarded 266 awards to 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 Mercedes Bandits – Toronto Police Hold Up Squad (Group Award)
Between November and December 2017, a pair of men robbed two financial institutions at gunpoint in the Toronto area using a silver Mercedes as a getaway car. The robberies involved coercing staff and discharging a firearm, causing injury and financial loss.
As a result of a thorough investigation by the Toronto Police Hold Up Squad, using investigative techniques including video surveillance, mobile surveillance, witness interviews, forensic evidence, and cellphone and vehicle GPS tracking, officers were able to identify the suspects. Arrests of both men were made as they were on their way to conduct a third robbery.
Winners of the group award are: Detective Steven CampbelL Detective Constable Paul Mills, Detective Joseph Matys. Detective Paul Moreau, Detective Constable Graham Knill, and Detective Kevin Sedore.
Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud Case – Police Constable Arvind Sidhu, Toronto Police Service (Individual Award)
Beginning in late 2016, Police Constable Arvind Sidhu started an investigation to catch a criminal who had fraudulently applied and used over half a dozen credits cards from a number of banks across Canada. Through identity theft, forgery, and an elaborate network of mail forwarding and false addresses, he maxed out each card, with a loss of approximately $100,000.
The officer’s diligent investigation resulted in the arrest of the individual but Police Constable Sidhu continued to pursue the case on his own time even after being re-assigned to other duties. His thoroughness in following up yielded a connection to a number of other cases, revealing that the perpetrator had an extensive criminal history in the United States dating back to 1988, with financial fraud totaling in excess of $1 million.
Pictured left to right: Police Constable Arvind Sidhu, Detective Steven Campbell, Detective Constable Paul Mills, Toronto Police Service