The Guelph Police Service recently recognized two outstanding young people with Junior Citizen Awards.
The Junior Citizen Award is a Guelph Police initiative, and the recipients are nominated by a member of the police service. The award is given to a youth under 18 years of age who is a citizen of Guelph who has been involved in a police-related incident. The Junior Citizen Award is awarded annually to provide recognition to young citizens of Guelph who contribute to the community by assisting the Guelph Police Service in keeping our city a safe place to live, work and play. This is the 18th annual presentation of the award.
In May 2022, eight-year-old Mcbale Alemseged found himself in a scary situation. He was with his two younger siblings when a family member suddenly went into medical distress. In these types of situations, often people panic and are unsure what to do,and more importantly, their fear keeps them from acting. Mcbale took control of the situation and called 911 for help.
He stayed calm on the phone, clearly giving his location and details to the dispatcher while monitoring the individual as he was instructed to do. Mcbale was able to relay important information to the dispatcher that allowed emergency services to arrive quickly and with a plan on how to take care of his family member.
Upon arrival of emergency services, Mcbale was relied upon to assist with translating which was critical in assisting with care. Emergency services transported Mcbale’s family member to the hospital where they were treated for their condition and recovered. Mcbale stayed with his two younger siblings to continue caring for them.
Mcbale’s bravery shined through at a time when many would have panicked. He worked through his fear and acted, calling 911 for help, showing intelligence and level-headedness beyond his years.
In the summer of 2021, local high school student Kristyn Dam was in downtown Guelph when she observed an argument between people unknown to her. Kristyn watched as the argument quickly turned violent and immediately called 911.
Kristyn relayed the information to the police over the phone and then in person when they arrived downtown. She was able to provide a detailed description of what she witnessed and also brought the availability of video surveillance of the incident to the attention of the police.
Kristyn was just 16 years old at the time. She was with friends when she witnessed the assault. She had no connection to these individuals or the situation. She recognized that such violence is not acceptable and alerted the police. She showed poise, problem-solving and courage in her actions.
Kristyn did exactly what she needed to do to assist the police and the victim of this assault. She not only called the police, but also followed up by staying in the area to help identify the suspects. She performed her duty as a citizen of Guelph and her involvement assisted the police in making an arrest.