Two constables with the Edmonton Police Service were given the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Captain “Gus” Crawford Memorial Aircrew of the Year Award for 2016.
Const. Chris Anderson and Const. Tyler Tebbutt received their awards in Georgia over the summer but the city took the time to recognize the officers Tuesday morning in Edmonton.
“To be recognized on the international stage for the work that we do every day that sometimes we don’t think is exceptional … it’s really good,” Anderson said. “It’s good for our program and for the city and the citizens. It’s excellent.”
“There are a lot of great agencies and a lot of great programs, so for our unit to be recognized, it shows the dedication of our current crew members and members of the past to build it to what it is today,” Tebbutt added.
Anderson was also named the ALEA Tactical Flight Officer of the Year.
The honour is connected to events that happened Dec. 15, 2015 when Air 1 played a key role in tracking down a suspect vehicle involved in a police chase.
The EPS said a truck smashed into a parked police vehicle. The people inside got out and ran, attempting to steal other vehicles at gunpoint. Air 1 was able to find them, but another chase began when the suspects stole another vehicle. Air 1 tracked the vehicle as it drove 150 km/h through south Edmonton and eventually stopped. Police said an armed robbery took place at a convenience store. Air 1 tracked the vehicle to Sherwood Park where, with help from the canine unit, two occupants were arrested.
“The call itself was difficult because we had to locate them initially and then start dealing with their actions after that,” Anderson explained. “We also had an equipment failure that night, so we had to employ some different tactics to make sure that we got it done safely… Aviation-wise everything was fine, it was one of our camera systems that was having issues.”
“The problem with pursuits is you just never know where they’re going to end up or how they’re going to end up,” Tebbutt explained. “It takes a lot of coordination between us and the ground people to safely conclude this call, which it did thankfully.”