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Looking for Winnipeg’s Top Cop

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July 31 -- Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg members Norman Velnes and Bruce Berven want your nominations for the second annual Top Cop award.
(CINDY CHAN)
METRO

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July 31 -- Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg members Norman Velnes and Bruce Berven want your nominations for the second annual Top Cop award. (CINDY CHAN) METRO Photo Store

The Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg Inc. (KCW) wants your nominations for the city’s Top Cop award.
For the second year in a row, this 95-year-old organization is holding a dinner at The Fairmont Winnipeg Hotel on Nov. 8 to recognize the officer Winnipeg believes is its Top Cop.

The last day for nominations is July 31. Submissions can be made by filling out an application form, which is available on the KCW website (winnipeg.kiwanisone.org).

Top Cop co-chairs Bruce Berven and Norman Velnes put on the ceremony because they want citizens of Winnipeg to see a different side of their police officers.

"They often don’t think of them as their neighbour or the person who is coaching ringette or the local soccer team or whatever," Velnes said. "This was an opportunity to showcase police officers in a whole different light."

"This whole initiative was driven by Kiwanis, not by the police," Berven said. "We’re doing it on behalf of the community, and just as Norm said, acknowledging what the police officers do.  They have no involvement in this at all other than showing up."

The qualities Berven and Velnes look for in a Top Cop include leadership, initiative, and commitment — traits that last year’s winner, Cst. Kevin Gibson, embodied.

Gibson created Status4, a music program that provides music lessons and opportunites to young people living in the Elmwood district.

"He started it from square one. He had to find a room, instruments, and funding to do this," Velnes said.

Velnes said the members of Status4 have now formed their own entertainment group.

"Our hope is, actually, they’ll be a part of the entertainment for the event," he said.

Currently, the KCW has received only three or four nominations, but they’d like more, as there is no limit on nominations.

"We have a group of judges from the community that look at the applications. Out of that, we choose three nominees," Berven explained.

The judging committee is expected to meet in August. After selecting three finalists, a videographer will shoot a three to four minute video of each police officer.

"We’ll show them at the dinner in November," Berven said.

In addition to nominations, Berven and Velnes are also looking for sponsors for the event.

"To make the whole event successful — because we also give money to charities represented by the three police officers — we need sponsors for the dinner," Berven said.

Individual tickets to the dinner are $125 each. A table for 10 costs $1,500.

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