A trio of Delta police officers were honoured in Victoria last week for their bravery and dedication above and beyond the call of duty.
On Thursday, Nov. 21, Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth presented Acting-Sgt. John Jasmins and Const. Paul Gibson with awards of valour at the 38th annual Police Honours Night at Government House.
Police Honours Night recognizes members of municipal police forces, RCMP, First Nations, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and Transit Police who have acted in an exemplary manner. This year 114 officers were recognized for their service, with 30 receiving the award of valour and 84 the award of meritorious service.
The award of valour is the highest award for police officers in B.C. and is awarded to officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, without regard for personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect others from harm.
Jasmins was presented with the award of valour for the courage he demonstrated in saving a woman’s life during an assault outside Immaculate Conception School in North Delta.
On Feb. 20, 2019, Jasmins was picking up his children from the school when he witnessed an altercation between a man and a woman. Jasmins, who was off-duty and unarmed at the time, instructed his children to call 911 and intervened in the assault, tackling the man and receiving several stab wounds to the abdomen in the process.
Jasmins and the woman, who had also been stabbed, were rushed to hospital where they both underwent surgery and remained in recovery for several weeks.
“Investigators believe that if John hadn’t acted so quickly, the woman involved in this incident could have lost her life. He is a hero,” DPD Chief Neil Dubord said at the time.
Gibson was honoured for his outstanding officer safety skills, sound decision making and de-escalation tactics in dealing with a knife wielding man at the KinVillage retirement home in Tsawwassen.
On July 30, 2018, Gibson responded to a call from KinVillage staff that a man who had recently learned his mother was dying was on his way to the retirement home. The man was reportedly agitated and blaming the staff for his mother’s condition. Gibson encountered the man in the hallway, who then pulled a switchblade knife from his pocket and without provocation slashed at the officer’s head.
Gibson was able to block the initial attack with his arm and, despite being injured, draw his firearm from its holster, all while directing the man to drop the knife. Over the course of several minutes of communication, Gibson was able to de-escalate the situation. The man eventually dropped the knife and was taken into custody without further incident. Gibson’s actions are believed to have saved the suspect’s life and potentially the life of another police officer.
In September, Jasmins and Gibson were awarded Cheif Constable Commendations, the DPD’s highest level of recognition, reserved for members who have displayed acts of exceptional courage, including risking their personal safety.
“While we are very fortunate to have a dedicated team of well-trained police officers here in Delta, it is rare for them to be tested in such a manner,” Dubord said in a press release. “Acting-Sgt. Jasmins and Const. Gibson took immediate and brave action in the face of danger, with split second decision making. I am incredibly proud that they have been honoured with awards of valour for their contribution to public safety.”
A third Delta police officer received an award of meritorious service, which recognizes exemplary performance that answers the call to service in exceptional ways, but his name and the details of the incident are being withheld due to the nature of his work.