Crime Stoppers P.E.I. honoured two outstanding law enforcement officers earlier this week in Charlottetown. Cst. Thane MacEachern, (left) was named Crime Stoppers RCMP Police Officer of the Year and Det. Sgt. Joe Peters (right) Crime Stoppers Municipal Police Officer of the Year. Guest Speaker for the event was former boxer George Chuvalo (second left) Gary Bowness, president of P.E.I. Crime Stoppers made the presentations.
SUMMERSIDE – A 33-year veteran of Summerside Police Services has been recognized for his decades of work in law enforcement.
Det. Sgt. Joe Peters was awarded the P.E.I. Crime Stoppers Municipal Police Officer of the Year Award at a ceremony held in Charlottetown Wednesday.
Peters was recognized for his work in the community in particular for his overall work in the major crime field and child sexual abuse protocol.
“It’s a nice reward to be recognized by that organization and your peers,” Peters said. “I would certainly like to thank Crime Stoppers. It’s a great organization that we work with quite often. It’s a great tool for law enforcement.”
Peters began his service in Summerside in 1980 and served with then police officer and now Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart.
“I worked with Basil,” he said. “Basil was teasing me, the day I came in the door he said, ‘You’re going to be police officer of the year some year.’”
It was shortly after amalgamation in 1995 that Peters moved to the general investigations service along with now Deputy Chief of Police Sinclair Walker.
“The year we amalgamated, six or seven years after that, they decided to increase the section from a two-person section to a three-person section. Sinclair ran it. I was a constable then and was promoted to corporal and then eventually took over the section as a sergeant.”
Peters said there have been several changes that have occurred in law enforcement over the years.
“There’s a lot more legislation that we have to deal with today,” he said. “One of the biggest things is the Youth Justice system. It requires more effort for sure.”
Another big change for police has been the increase in the use of the social media.
“And with technology, there have certainly been a lot of changes with technology. In the old days we didn’t have to deal with things like the Internet, texting, sexting and cyber- bullying and all of that stuff.”
Councillor Tina Mundy, chairwoman of the city’s police services committee said, Peters is very deserving of the award.
“I’m very pleased to see all of his hard work recognized by his peers,” she said. “He works very hard for Summerside Police Services but he also does extracurricular work, hundreds of hours working in the community as well.” Summerside Police Chief David Poirier a three-member committee from Crime Stoppers requests nominations, including a background of the officer being proposed for the award. There are two awards given out, one for the top municipal police officer and one for the RCMP.
“Joe has been a member since 1980,” Poirier said. “We’re very proud that he was given the award. It was a pleasant surprise when his name was announced.”