Lisa Niemzyk, BA/06, saw a year of hard work pay off as she was sworn in as a special constable with the Department of University Safety on January 11, 2008. Niemzyk’s friends, family and co-workers were present at the ceremony to witness her surprise as she also, unexpectedly, received the University Safety Director’s Achievement Award for going beyond the call of duty. Also in attendance and presenting Niemzyk with her designated shoulder patches was Inspector Murdock MacLeod of the Ottawa Police Service.
“I look at everything I do as stepping stones. So even from just working here a year, I’ve grown a lot,” says Niemzyk. “I got a lot more out of this than I expected.”
The special constable hiring and training program is a rigorous year-long process that involves everything from online courses to aptitude and physical fitness testing. What proved to be the greatest obstacle was the strenuous use-of-force training. Rather than giving up, however, she rose to the challenge by taking additional training courses on her own time and practising with other officers at the gym.
“The way she approached it was what impressed everyone the most. That really shows the character of a person,” explains one of her practice partners, John Gallen, who is the shift manager of Patrol Services, a division of the safety department.
During her training Niemzyk, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology in 2006, also made time to get involved with the community. She organized her department’s participation in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, volunteered at the local Humane Society and organized with her partner, Trevor Sharpe, the Shepherds of Good Hope Christmas Basket program. For the latter, they donated two hampers from the department to single-parent families. Niemzyk also volunteered to give safety information sessions and became a certified self-defence instructor.
It was because of her hard work, beyond what was expected of a campus safety officer, that Niemzyk was recognized with the University Safety Director’s Achievement Award.
“The award is given to the officer who, over the course of the year, works to raise the profi le of the department in a positive way and she has done that all year long,” explains Len Boudreault, the director of university safety. “She’s a very positive person.”
The Department of University Safety would like to thank all those in the Carleton University community for their generous support to the Shepherd’s of Good Hope Christmas Hamper program. Thanks to sponsor Tomahawk Technologies, the department was able to organize a draw to win Ottawa Senators tickets. Over $500 was raised and two families were provided with food and gifts for Christmas. Congratulations go out to the winner of the draw, Marcia Aston-Adams.