A former Oceanside RCMP officer received a valour award for going “above and beyond the line of duty” in a bizarre 2012 incident that started in Qualicum Beach.
Const. Rochelle Carr, who now works with the RCMP criminal intelligence section in Surrey, was among 84 Mounties who received bravery awards in Victoria earlier this month.
RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman said back in February 2012 police received a report from a dental clinic in Qualicum Beach, where somebody had just stolen a large carving off the wall. Foreman said the dental clinic managed to get a description of the vehicle the thief fled in, which happened to be a former police car.
“Const. Carr located it (the vehicle) on Alberni Highway and attempted to pull it over but it sped up to a point where she decided it was too dangerous to continue,” he said.
“She pulled over and stopped and as soon as she did that the other vehicle made a U-turn and came right at her.”
Foreman said Carr’s police cruiser was rammed by the vehicle twice in an effort to push the police officer off the road. In the pandemonium of the incident, two other vehicles ended up in the middle of the road and a crowd of people gravitated to the scene.
“So, she got out and had to draw her firearm,” said Foreman. “And she got both people in custody.”
Two people were arrested — one male and one female — for theft, assault with a weapon (the vehicle), dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and assaulting a police officer.
Foreman recalls “it was a hard day for Rochelle and she did everything right.”
He describes the valour award as “the highest award for a police officer in British Columbia and involves an act of exceptional valour in the face of extreme hazard.”
Foreman said “it is awarded to police officers who purposely took action for the benefit of others while knowing that, in doing so, they placed themselves at substantial risk of death or serious injury.”
Valour awards are given to officers who are nominated from another member within the RCMP.
“It (the nomination) goes to the district level and a panel reviews it to determine whether it meets the criteria,” explains Foreman, adding that the incident must prove to be “above and beyond the line of duty.”
Carr was nominated by Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter.
Foreman said nominations for this award must also include civilian reports and a detailed file of the incident.
Carr spent four years with the police in Tofino, three years with the Oceanside RCMP and continues to work in the criminal intelligence section in the Lower Mainland.