Mothers Against Drunk Driving posthumously awards constable who died in N.S. massacre

RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson is shown with children in an undated hadout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has given its annual police excellence award posthumously to Nova Scotian Const. Heidi Stevenson, who was killed while responding to April’s mass shooting in Portapique.

The Terry Ryan Memorial Award for Excellence in Police Services is given to recognize service in helping reduce impaired driving. It was created following the 2002 death of Const. Terry Ryan, who was killed in an alcohol-related crash.

“It is with a heavy heart that MADD Canada bestows this award posthumously to Constable Heidi Stevenson of the RCMP, Cole Harbour Detachment, Nova Scotia,” read a MADD news release.

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The 48-year-old constable was killed six months ago after she rammed her cruiser into the vehicle being driven by a gunman disguised as an RCMP officer. Stevenson was one of the 22 people who lost their lives during the killing.

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In May, her family described her as a caring wife and mother who was well-known in the Halifax area. Stevenson left behind her husband, Dean, and children, Connor and Ava.

“The Cole Harbour detachment of the RCMP is one of the busiest in Eastern Canada and the demands on a front-line police officer are great. Despite this, Constable Stevenson always made sure to make the enforcement of impaired driving laws a priority in her daily activities,” read the MADD release.

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MADD said Stevenson strived to improve her capabilities in traffic enforcement by taking additional training and courses on drug recognition.

It said she was one of few chosen to be an instructor on evidentiary breath training, standardized field sobriety testing and drug recognition.

“She had a genuine passion for keeping her community and the public safe, and she truly recognized how impaired driving enforcement contributed to that goal,” MADD said.

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This wasn’t the first posthumous recognition Stevenson had received since her death.

Last month, the Nova Scotia RCMP held a private ceremony to unveil her name at its Wall of Honour in Dartmouth.

As an additional tribute, the RCMP said it has named its headquarters’ fitness centre the Stevenson Fitness and Physical Activity Centre.

“Heidi’s name and regimental number are now proudly displayed within the centre, where we will continue to honour her bravery, dedication and service,” the RCMP said in October.

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