All in the line of duty

Oak Bay Police Department members past and present honoured for service

Oak Bay Const. Larry Worock

April 7 was shaping up to be a typical work day for Oak Bay police Sgt. Donald Symes and Const. Larry Worock. That was until they responded to a 911 call from a distraught woman who was trying to wrestle a shotgun away from her suicidal husband.

After making their way into the home and assuring the woman’s safety, the officers were confronted by the man in a stairwell. “He had a single-barrel loaded shotgun (pointed) under his chin and he was 10 to 12 feet away from us,” recounted Worock.

The two officers talked to the man for 15 to 20 minutes. “I thought one of two things were going to happen: either we would watch him die, or we would have to shoot him. It was a very tense few minutes,” Worock said.

Using a combination of negotiating skills and establishing a rapport with the man, they were able to talk him out of his weapon.

For their efforts, Symes and Worock received meritorious service awards Nov. 17 during the annual Police Honours Night at Government House.

Among the six other Greater Victoria police officers honoured was retired Oak Bay chief Ron Gaudet, who was recognized for outstanding service to policing in British Columbia. He was with the Oak Bay department from 1980 to 2011, having served nine previous years with the RCMP and Edmonton police.

“It’s a tradition that started many years ago at Police Honours Night, recognizing retiring police chiefs,” he said. “It is indeed an honour to be recognized, along with a couple of my long-time colleagues … There are better stories than mine based on the merit and valour awards given across the province.”

Gaudet recalled the arrival of Symes and Worock.

“I worked with Don for many years,” the ex-chief said. “He came to Oak Bay about six years after I did. I hired Larry Worock from the Edmonton Police Service.”

He said both officers have served the community well. “This is the second medal Larry Worock has received since he came to Oak Bay.”

“Too often there are situations like these that are not reported,” said Worock of the incident that led to his latest award. “More often you hear about the bad side of policing than the good. This award was a humbling experience. There are a lot of people that do the same kind of work and don’t get recognized.”

Split-second decision-making and a calm approach, along with back-up support from other officers helped defuse the situation.

“It takes common-sense negotiating skills to deal with a distraught individual. Going in, you don’t always know if it’s going to work out for the best. In this case it did and nobody got hurt,” Gaudet said.

“It was an honour to get (the award),” said Symes. “It was unexpected and it goes to everyone as well, it’s a team effort. It was a difficult situation, but we worked our way through it and I’m very, very grateful it ended peacefully.”

llavin@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Celebrate 50 years of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ and the Apollo 11 moonlanding

‘Ground control to Major Tom’ the countdown is on the 50th anniverary of the moon landing

Views, brews and food on Gulf Islands craft beer cruise

Five day cruise from Sidney to Gulf Islands, includes chef and beer historian

Over 200 lives saved in first year at Victoria’s supervised consumption site

The Harbour celebrates its first anniversary with a report of zero deaths on site

Prolific offender found sleeping in Oak Bay resident’s car

Of 106 calls to 911 last week, eight were abandoned

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read