Officers And Civilians Go Above and Beyond

By Ron Fanfair

Ron Fanfair


51 Division
Office of the Chief

Two officers, who arrested a suspect in a string of bank robberies in the city, were among many recently honoured with Service Awards.

On November 14, 2022, Constables Moritz Lichtenberger and Vyacheslav Biryukov were patrolling the Regent Park & Moss Park area when they heard a broadcast on their police radio for a potential bank robbery occurring in neighbouring 52 Division.

“We were aware that there were several robberies in the last three days in the area and we reached out to the Hold-Up Squad who provided us with a photo of the suspect and his name,” said Biryukov. “When the call came in for unknown trouble at a bank on Dundas St. E., we immediately responded to the scene. We did not put on our siren for fear of alerting the suspect we were close by.”

When the officers arrived at the back, they observed the suspect speaking with a teller.

“He matched the description we were given and was in the process of collecting money from the teller when we walked up behind him and made the arrest without incident,” added Biruykov, who has been on the job for 18 months.

At the May 2 ceremony at Headquarters, Chief Myron Demkiw said he is proud to be leading an organization filled with high-calibre uniformed officers and civilians.

“At a time when respect, collaboration and building trust in our communities are absolutely critical to the success of our work, your efforts and the inspiration they provide have, frankly, never been so important,” he said.

“Your willingness to go above and beyond in finding solutions to the complex challenges facing our city, your courageous actions in the face of  danger and your resilience in the face of adversity help us to build stronger and safer communities and make your colleagues and city proud. The award you are receiving tonight is well deserved.”

Toronto Police Services Board Chair Lisa Kostakis said the recipients far exceeded their demanding daily activities.

“They are living examples of our Service’s mission, vision and values,” she said. “Doing their jobs in neighbourhoods across Toronto, they embody our ever-important priorities – great professionalism, connecting with care, working collaboratively – in all that they do. Their actions inspire each one of us to strive for new heights of professionalism and service to the community.”

Kostakis said Service members are on the streets every day making the city safer, kinder and better.

“They face great danger with selfless courage and deal with countless situations of chaos, sadness and risk with their trademark professionalism, compassion and dedication,” she added.

  • Constable Peter Eckersall of 41 Division Major Crime Unit was awarded a Commendation for performing CPR on a young man with severe life-threatening injuries and, in the process, saving his life.
  • Detective Sergeant Hannah Bartz, Sergeant Colleen McNamara and Senior Analyst Luminitia Ciausu along with Communications personnel Kerry Murray-Bates, Monica Di Tollo, Tamara Nalon, Wendy Drobiasko, Joella Galloway, Laura Nesci, Cristinia Ramsbottom, Alexandra Sorenberger, Jonathan Whitehead, Ashley Cordingley and Tracy Finn, who is retired, were recognized with the Chief of Police Award for their roles in creating the innovative 9-1-1 Crisis Call Diversion Project.

    The program places a crisis worker from the Gerstein Crisis Centre in the Service’s 9-1-1 Communications Centre to answer calls.

The majority of the awards were Teamwork Commendations.

  • Detective Andrew Lipkus, Detective Constables Ricardo Burke, Josh Cannon, Christopher Chan, Raymond Chen, Brian Dawn, Jason Domingo, Silvia Fernandez, Mario Ho, Rowan Lopez, Wayne MacDonald, Philip Schoon and Mark Toledo-Castro were honoured for working collaboratively using a variety of techniques to apprehend three youths wanted in connection for a variety of offences.

    The officers also seized a large quantity of guns and drugs.
  • Superintendent Colin Greenway, Staff Sergeant Allen Love, Sergeants Pasquale Alberga and Craig McFarquhar and Constables Todd Adams, Jeffrey Clarke, Juan Delgado Meneses, Ellie Edwards, Steven Fadi, Grant Forrest, Christopher Gibson, Geoffrey Henderson, Christopher Radford, Thomas Sommer and Patrick Staunton were recognized for saving eight people involved in a boating mishap in Lake Ontario.
Group of officers on a staircase with framed certificates
Chief Myron Demkiw recognizes officers who helped in a Marine rescue Photo: Glen Dextras
  • Sergeants Richard MacKinnon and Paul Sweenie, Detectives Thomas Imrie and Timothy Wilson and Detective Constables Daniel Funchion, Stephane Heroux, Jason Johnston, Graham Knill, Shahryar Koushyar-Moghtader, Arnulfo Lisanin, Denise Lowe and Angela Rodgers and Constables Matthew Butt, Hugh Carter, Craig Drummond, Mo Fadel, Gavin Lawrence, Zachary Melerowicz and Roger Palma were acknowledged for rescuing a female kidnapped on her way to school and taken to Thunder Bay.

    Three males were arrested and charged.

Contact Corporate Communications

40 College St., Toronto, ON M5G 2J3
Location of the contact address on the map