Mistaken for undercover cop, Lacey gets a commendation (11 photos)Thursday, March 07, 2013 by: Carol Martin
In July of last year Lacey Dalton headed home from work at the Delta Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel and Conference Centre in the wee hours of the morning after working at a banquet.
While pulling out of the parking lot to drive home, Dalton (shown), a very community-minded young woman, happened to notice the back door to the Subway Restaurant on Elgin Street (in the Station Tower) was broken.
She was at the 27th Annual Police Community Programs Night last night at the Delta Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel and Conference Centre to accept a commendation for her actions that night in July.
When she saw the broken door, Dalton backed up and pulled into the parking area near the sub shop where she proceeded to call 911 to report the broken door and possible break and enter.
As she did so, she witnessed a masked man running from the building.
He jumped into a van and drove away from the scene.
Dalton stayed on the phone with the police 911 operator as she followed the van around downtown streets and alleyways in an attempt to get the driver's license number.
She wasn't able to do that before the van pulled into an alleyway and came to a stop in front of two poles at its dead end.
While Dalton told the 911 operator where she was and what was going on, the man she had been following got out of the van, took his mask off and approached Dalton's car with his hands raised.
"Apparently he must have thought she was an undercover police officer," said Staff Sergeant Jane Martynuk, emcee for the 27th Annual Police Community Programs Night last night at the Delta.
The annual dinner is the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service's way of acknowledging the many community partners that have assisted the service with various programs and events in the last year.
Dalton was one of the people who received a commendation and a special thank you from the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Board for her work in the community that proved to be of assistance to the police.
Police arrived to arrest the man Dalton had been following that night in July as he came out of the alleyway and he was charged with break and enter, possession of stolen property, possession of break and enter tools and fail to comply with a release order.
Dalton said she wasn't very worried about her own safety as she followed the man in the van that night.
"I guess because I've been here so long and I believe that Sault Ste. Marie is basically a safe place I didn't feel like I was in any danger in my locked car driving behind the van," she said.
She also said she thought it was important to get involved and do something when it needed to be done, even something that started out as simple as calling 911 when she saw a broken door.
"You have to keep in mind your own safety, the safety of the public and also the safety of the person who may be committing a crime," Dalton said. "But it's important that everyone do what ever they can - that they take action and get involved."
"The matter is before the courts," Martynuk told the many people enjoying dessert after a banquet in the Algoma Ballroom at the Delta - the very place Dalton had been working the night she earned herself a police commendation.
Also receiving a commendation at last the Community Awards Night presentations was Mitch Chouinard, a police officer who was off duty at the time he heard women screaming in the parking lot of Sault Area Hospital.
He witnessed an older woman screaming at a younger woman while the younger woman screamed at and shook a young child.
Chouinard intervened, identified himself as an off-duty police officer and attempted to calm the two women while the police were called.
The attending officer arrested the younger woman, who turned out to be the daughter of the older woman, and she was charged with assaulting the child.
That matter is also before the court, said Martynuk.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Board also recognized three other people with plaques for their work in the community and assistance to the police.
Tony Tagliabracci was recognized for his many years of service in media broadcasting (most recently with Shaw TV).
David Carlascio and John Santana (also of Shaw TV) were recognized for their efforts to educate the public on road safety through video productions.
Here's what Martynuk had to say about them.
He teamed up Shaw TV.
He convinced family members and friends to appear in the video and utilized his own vehicle and bicycle for the filming.
He himself was involved in the production and the acting.
David Carlascio is a freelance cameraman with Shaw TV.
He worked jointly with John Santana in the production and filming of the video.
David, through Shaw TV, also produced and aired a winter driving safety message on Shaw.
He has also offered to produce and air more specials to educate our citizens on road safety.
Tony Tagliabracci was recognized for his many years of service in media broadcast.
Tony has 38 years of working in the media in radio and television.
He worked for CJIC, CKCY, CJIC/CHBX TV as a reporter, announcer and anchor.
He also worked with MCTV and Shaw Cable 10.
Over the years he has been a reporter, announcer, anchor, news director and a producer.
Tony has a strong working relationship with the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and provided tips and hints to officers who were involved with working with media.
Additionally the Sault Ste. Marie Police and the Kinsmen Club recognize the schools and students that have been accident free.
The following schools were recognized fro being accident free.
Five-years accident free: St. Paul Catholic School and Anna McCrea Public School.
Ten-years accident free: Pinewood and H.M. Robbins Public Schools.
Twenty -years accident free: Parkland Public School.
Twenty-five-years accident free: Holy Family and St. Francis Catholic Schools.