Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Award-winning female officer made history
Went undercover, in cell with killer
Patrol Sgt. Edith Turner's journey from teenage gas jockey in northern Manitoba to award-winning police officer hasn't been typical.
But in her 17 years on the job, Turner has persevered to become an expert in undercover work and the new supervisor of the Winnipeg Police Service's aboriginal and diversity unit.
In 2004, when her daughter was only three years old, Turner went undercover in an Ontario prison to help get statements that led to a second-degree murder conviction.
In Canada, it was a first for a female police officer. Going in, Turner wasn't told how the victim was killed, but she learned about it from her cellmate.
"That was learning on the fly, because no one's done it before from our agency or for a female officer in Canada at the time," said Turner, who grew up in Grand Rapids First Nation.
"Nobody in the prison knew, so I was treated and processed as a regular inmate. So none of the guards knew, nobody knew... meaning strip searches, everything was performed.
"I shared a cell, which was six feet by eight feet, with a murderer."
Turner was honoured Friday at the Winnipeg Police Service's 22nd Awards Day, held at Immanuel Pentecostal Church. As she received the James Toal Award of Excellence, the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
The annual award, named for the late Insp. James Toal, honours outstanding service to the police department and community.
Turner has also been a member of the Canadian Amphibious Search Team (CAST), a volunteer group that helps with search and recovery.
She was recently transferred to supervise the aboriginal and diversity unit after supervising a shift in St. James.
She said she's had to prove herself in the course of her work.
"Back (when she joined), there wasn't very many aboriginal officers, especially females, so those were two strikes against me right away," said Turner, 40.
"I just remember dealing with people downtown. People would give me a hard time. They wouldn't believe I was a police officer when I phoned them or knocked on doors... or talked through intercoms, because of my accent."
After the ceremony, her 11-year-old daughter, Emily, placed her single mom's police hat on her head.
Also present Friday was Turner's mother, Patricia Turner, a residential school survivor.
Edith said her mother has been her role model. While Edith was working undercover in prison, for example, her daughter stayed with her mother in northern Manitoba.
"We told her Mommy was working on training," Patricia Turner said.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 12, 2012 A13
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
(1 of 28 articles for today)3:47 AM 0
A Winnipeg man has been found not guilty of a violent home invasion after a judge ruled evidence of the ...
Photo Store Gallery
- The XXX Factor: Sex and relationships in a digital world
- Jets receive top tax break
- Busy morning for Winnipeg firefighters
- Toews' salary to be docked
- 'I've got to sue': Developer to launch legal action against city over Sargent building collapse
- "Passionate" former city councillor Amaro Silva dies at 57
- Winnipeg cops resuscitate baby
- Man found not guilty of gunpoint home invasion
- Former chiropractor fights sex assault conviction
- Police arrest two alleged johns; at-risk youths taken to places of safety
- Significant snowfall likely for southern Manitoba
- Developer giving up on 110-year-old Sargent Avenue building after battle with city
- Boy, 11, injured after falling about 4.5 metres from ski lift at Asessippi
- Man facing impaired driving charge after fatal ATV crash says he had alcohol after the crash
- MTS inadvertently filters internet customers' traffic
- 8-year sentence sought for Winnipeg man who set up bathroom spy-cams
- Mom wants ski trips reviewed
- Busy morning for Winnipeg firefighters
- Brothers headed to prison after attacking their mother's dealer
- Parole officials impressed with progress made by Winnipeg killer
- Family shattered by loss of four young sons
- Pilot Mound teen dies after skiing accident
- Two in hospital after car crashes into restaurant
- Forgiving the unthinkable
- Selinger wins on second ballot at NDP leadership convention
- Property tax increase capped, but frontage levies, garbage fees to increase
- Before meeting with mayor, Chipman wants written response
- Judge doesn't buy tale of biker's bounty
- Boy who gave up Jets stick gets surprise gift
- Protected witness wonders if big payday was worth hassle
Ads by Google