Provincial Constable Samantha Bigley of the Bracebridge OPP has been nominated for the 2021 Police Services Hero of the Year Awards.
The awards program, which is facilitated by the Police Association of Ontario (PAO), gives members of the public the chance to nominate and recognize their local police officers, 9-1-1 dispatchers and other police service personnel. The nomination can refer to a specific event where an officer or civilian police services employee “went above and beyond the call of duty,” said the PAO, or it can be made in recognition of ongoing support to the community.
“Constable Samantha Bigley has gone above and beyond in her role with the Bracebridge OPP,” says the nomination. “Not only does she continue to serve the community as a cognizant and capable officer of the law, ensuring local safety, she also takes time each week to visit those in need of support whether they suffer from drug addiction or mental health issues.”
The anonymous nominator shared how Bigley helped connect them with the Canadian Mental Health Association to get their anxiety properly diagnosed and indirectly helped them get in contact with a local healthcare practitioner in Muskoka.
“She has been doing this for years and she always tries to find a way not only to enforce, but also educate and support,” said the nominator. “And, most importantly, she does this everyday with a smile on her face.”
In addition to being a constable, Bigley serves as a mental health coordinator and media relations officer for the OPP.
“Times have been particularly tough during this pandemic for people in our communities who struggle and whose regular resources and supports are difficult to connect with,” Bigley said. “I am grateful to have the ongoing support of our leadership at Bracebridge detachment to continue our work with our partners at Canadian Mental Health Association in doing outreach and offering connections.”
Award winners will be announced at the PAO’s virtual Annual General Meeting in June, and though Bigley doesn’t know who nominated her, it’s an important reminder of the impact she has had on the community.
“We sometimes become immersed in our work,” Bigley said. “This nomination has given me an opportunity to take a step back and see that people are benefiting and that is very encouraging.”
To learn more about the Police Services Hero of the Year Awards, click here. Read the article below to learn about the time OPP Constable Samantha Bigley rescued a raccoon while on duty in Gravenhurst.