Oceanside RCMP Auxiliary Const. Michael Dally was recenty honoured with the Commissioner’s Commendation for Volunteer Service.
It’s one of the highest honours bestowed by the RCMP to any of its officers. The award was presented to Dally by Island District Commander, chief superintendent Sean Sullivan, at the RCMP Island District Headquarters on July 3, in recognition for his selfless dedication in performing his duties above and beyond and for representing the RCMP with honour, integrity and professionalism.
Dally said it is a special award.
“When I was presented with it by our distrcit commander, he told me he had never actually met a member who had been recognized at this level as so few are ever given out,” said Dally. “He said he was delighted at this stage in his career to have the opportunity to present one to me. I am only the second auxiliary to be awarded the honour in the history of the RCMP. The award was for a culmination of things I have been involved with that has in their words had a massive impact in our communities for the betterment of everyone concerned.”
Dally is well-known in the Parskville Qualicum Beach area and has been one of Oceanside RCMP’s leading ambassadors. He is always at the centre and the life of numerous fundraisers for various charities that include Foodbank, Cops for Cancer, BC Special Olympics, Salvation Army, Society of Organized Services and many more.
One of the many initiatives Dally is proud to be involved with is Secure-Us, a crime prevention and personal safety community program.
Staff Regimental Sgt. Major Kathy Rochlitz spoke about this program prior to the award presentation. She pointed out that Dally single-handedly developed and implemented the program that is now utilized in detachments across Canada and has been adopted in Ukraine as a cornerstone program to build a community policing platform.
“The Secure-Us Program has had a huge impact in educating our community on how to hard target both their homes and themselves to protect them from becoming victims of crime,” said Dally. “In addition to being a preventative program it is also a resource for people who have been victims of a property related crime to be able to spend time with a member to help make sure they get their confidence back and feel safe and secure in their own homes. We can never underestimate the impact on someone who has been the victim of a property related crime, it hits at the very core of where we feel most safe and secure. Being able to spend time with these people is so rewarding and life-changing for them and us. This program punches well above its weight and has been pivotal in shining the spotlight on the work the Oceanside detachment delivers with out-of-the-box thinking.”
Dally also been involved with mental health outreach programs, where he experienced first-hand the disconnect between how people regard the RCMP when they start their healing journey.
“I have been on many mental health calls over the years and I know without our intervention the outcome for some of these individuals could have been that much worse,” said Dally. “I wanted to change that mindset to make these kind and decent people see the RCMP as part of their journey from illness to wellness. I desperately wanted them to change that mindset and view us as a positive part in accessing the help they need.”
Dally started this outreach and bridge-building in 2016 when he saved the life of a suicidal male.
“I, by the grace of God, located him… and I was able to get him to the help he needed,” Dally recalled. “He is now well and living a productive and happy life.”
Dally visits mental health organizations every week, joining people for lunch, games and just for a friendly chat.
“They would tell me ‘people try to avoid us,’” said Dally. “Building relationships and providing help and support where needed was so rewarding, slowly, letting the community see the RCMP officers in uniform as a positive thing and nothing to be scared of, building positivity around the patch is what I called it.”