Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for 2020-07-20

This week’s topics:

  • You can bank on your Neighbourhood Resource Team – A couple of nice stories this week.
  • A life is saved – Second story.

If you’re interested in helping out, see our Neighbourhood Watch Page.

– Alex

—– Forwarded Message —–
Subject: Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for July 20, 2020
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:14:53 -0400
From: Darren Joseph <>

1.  You can bank on your Neighbourhood Resource Team

George is living in Long Term Care and has been cooped up for almost four months due to Covid-19 restrictions. So it’s understandable that on June 30, a beautiful sunny day, he wanted to get outside. Although he has limited mobility, he wanted to walk to the bank a few blocks away.

Constables Dakota Bashford and Usama Badran, members of the OPS Neighbourhood Resource Team, were on foot patrol in the ByWard Market when they witnessed a tugging match between George and a staff member of the residence.

The officers asked what the problem was and learned George couldn’t go out by himself and the residence didn’t have staff available for someone to accompany him on his errand.

Since the officers were going in that direction, they offered to escort George to the bank and back. The staff member agreed to let him go with them.

As they walked, George told the officers about his career in real estate and he showed them an award he had received. “He was a real card,” said Cst. Badran, “and he was enjoying the chance to talk about ‘the good old days’ with someone new.”

On the way back, George offered to buy the officers a drink from the Beavertails stand on George St. The officers declined, but George wanted an orange soda. The vendor couldn’t take cash because of Covid-19 restrictions, so Cst. Badran paid for the drink with his own card.

By this time, George was getting hot and tired, so Cst. Bashford walked ahead and picked up the police cruiser that was parked nearby. The officers drove George back home from there.

“He was definitely happy to get out and about,” said Cst. Badran. “I’m glad we were able to do something that took less than an hour but meant so much to him. This is what community policing is all about.”

2.  A life is saved

Another suicide was prevented, due to the proactive policing officers do between service calls.

On June 25 at about 11 pm, Cst. Dakota Bashford, a four-year veteran with the Ottawa Police Service was on patrol and checking parking lots in the downtown core when he heard a noise that sounded like a person crying. He shone his flashlight around, but saw nothing. Still hearing the sounds, he looked up and saw a woman about fifteen feet off the ground. She was standing under the fire escape platform on a narrow ledge, a strap around her neck.

The officer immediately called for back-up and quickly jumped into action. He began speaking to the woman as he moved towards her. Cst. Brian Emery arrived and he climbed the fire escape while Cst. Bashford spoke to the woman. The only way Cst. Emery could reach her was to lie down on the platform above her, reach through the opening in the metal stairs and grab onto her arm. At that point, the woman leaned forward. He had hold of her, but she was choking.

While supporting most of her weight, Cst. Emery used a utility knife to cut the strap around her neck. “I was worried I would cut her, because the strap was so tight,” he said.

Then Sgt. Nicolas Benard reached the platform to assist. They freed her from the strap but still needed help to pull her up.

Constables Brent Sullivan and Jenna McElravy held the woman up by her feet until Cst. Bashford could get his police car positioned under her. He jumped onto the roof and grabbed hold of her legs to bring her to safety.

The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment.

“I’ve been a police officer for sixteen years,” said Sgt. Benard, “and I’ve never experienced anything like this – an outcome that depended solely on the slim chance an officer would be in that parking lot at that specific time so a life could be saved.  Without a doubt, if Cst. Bashford hadn’t been there, this woman would have died with no one to intervene.”

If you are struggling, help is available. Contact the Ottawa Distress Centre at: 613-238-3311 or 1-866-996-0991.
Contact Cst. Darren Joseph directly (west of O-Train, Line 2) at
Contact Cst. Stephanie Lemieux directly (east of O-Train, Line 2) at

2 thoughts on “Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for 2020-07-20

  1. Thank you for sharing these stories! With all of the negative publicity that the police are getting lately it is so wonderful to have stories like these that are shared.

  2. Thank you for these two stories of police people giving all the help that was really needed!

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