Local Mountie receives national police distinction
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 06:00 am
An RCMP officer who has worked in both St. Albert and Morinville has received a prestigious Canadian Police Services Award.
Cpl. Laurel Kading, crime reduction and media liaison officer with St. Albert RCMP, has received the Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.
The award was established in 2000 to honour the leadership and exceptional service displayed by men and women of the Canadian police services. It recognizes an individual’s contributions to policing at the detachment and regional level over their career, as well as community development.
It is one of the most prestigious distinctions an employee of a police agency can receive.
Kading found out she had received the award when she found a letter in her mailbox from the Governor General of Canada. “It was quite surprising and overwhelming,” she said.
This year, 17 RCMP officers received the award. The investiture ceremony will take place in Ottawa in September.
“I’ve been in a lucky position that I have been in places where there has been a lot of community support and RCMP support to try different projects,” she said.
Kading has banked 29 years in the service, first as a general duty officer and then into community policing.
“Almost half my service now I’ve been in this type of work. I really do enjoy it,” she said.
Kading has been teaching the Drug Abuse Resistance Education substance abuse prevention program since 1997. She is now a D.A.R.E mentor, which means she can train other officers to teach it.
Kading was also involved in the RCMP Venturer program with Scouts Canada, Citizens Academy in Morinville in 2000 and most recently, the St. Albert Youth Academy, which commenced in 2011.
“Cpl. Kading is a strong role model for youth providing multiple opportunities for positive interaction with police. She uses ongoing ingenuity in engaging youth in the responsibility for a safe community,” read Kading’s nomination.
She was nominated by a Morinville resident, supported by the St. Albert detachment.
“You can have all kinds of ideas and desire to do things, but it really takes a team and support of your detachment to try different projects,” remarked Kading.
“I may receive the medal, but anything I’ve done has always been in joint partnership projects and working with some tremendous people.”
“For anyone to even be nominated is an accomplishment,” said Insp. Kevin Murray with St. Albert RCMP. “To actually receive the award is certainly recognition of her career-long commitment, not only to the RCMP organization but to the community she’s lived in and worked in.”
The Order of Merit is testament to Kading’s personal commitment to go “above and beyond” her job title, added Murray.
“Her desires were true and they were a genuine commitment to the community.”
There are three levels of the order: member, officer and commander.
“Myself receiving this as an officer – a regular officer not in the higher ranks of the RCMP – I’m hoping that it shows that we all can gain something like this,” said Kading.
“Sometimes you wonder if anyone notices some of the work that you do, and I would think this could serve as an example for other officers that people do.”
“I can think of so many that I’ve worked with that have done as much as or more than I have. We need to take the time to recognize more of our coworkers.”
Kading hopes to attend the investiture ceremony in September with family.