Respect for Law
Each year we run a Respect for Law program with the Halton Regional Police. The Optimist Club of Oakville honours both law enforcement officers and civilians that have contributed to respecting law in our community. These officers and civilians are role models for the youth of our community. The Optimist Club of Oakville believes it is important that the youth of our community develop a strong belief in abiding by the law, respecting law enforcement and doing all that can be done in maintaining a lawful environment. This year's recipients represent our community's role models. This year's winners are Constable Matt Baker and Cathy Jackson.
Constable Matt Baker
Constable Matt Baker has been a member of the Halton Regional Police Service for over 8 years and has held a variety of roles in the Oakville community. In addition to serving as a uniform patrol officer, Matt performed the Oakville Village Constable role for several years where he was instrumental in many outreach roles for the Service. In January 2015 the Service created district level Community Mobilization Bureaus to deliver programs and community engagement activities that were once performed within a centralized model. Matt’s knack for relationship building and quality service delivery made him a natural selection for this newly developed unit.
For those of you who follow the Halton Regional Police Service on social media, you will know Matt from his proactive presence on Twitter and attendance at community events. Matt is on the organizing committee for the Oakville Santa Claus Parade and is actively involved with the Kerr Village BIA as he addresses crime concerns and quality of life issues. He is also active with Kerr Street Ministries where he helps the organization assist low income and at risk youth and families. As a cycling enthusiast, Matt rode over 600 km on his bicycle in honour of fallen police officers during a trip from Niagara to Ottawa. He has also dedicated much time to educating youth and various community groups about bicycle safety.
Matt represented the Halton Regional Police Service as a member of the police liaison team during the Pan Am Games and he was also a driving force behind the Oakville Toys for Tots initiative to help local families in need this past Christmas. Proudly, the Halton Regional Police Service raised over $345,000 in toys, gift cards, cash and food. Matt’s contributions also extend into the area of criminal investigations. His community connections helped him identify a local sex offender, and his keen observations and proactive patrol efforts resulted in Matt arresting the serial arsonist who had been active in the Oakville area throughout 2015.
Constable Matt Baker is truly committed to community engagement and exceptional service delivery. His contributions and demonstrated respect for law make him a valued member of the Halton Regional Police Service and the Town of Oakville.
Cathy Jackson was nominated for her many invaluable contributions to both the Halton Regional Police Service and the Town of Oakville. Cathy has been an avid volunteer within the community for over two decades. It all began in 1989 when Cathy met with
Halton Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Barratt to present the idea of providing stuffed toy “Bears” to children involved in traumatic incidents. On Wednesday July 5th 1989, the first 40 bears were presented to the community introducing the “Bear Program”. This program is still in effect today. Cathy was the coordinator of this program from 1989 to 2000.
In May 1997 the Oakville Communities on Phone Patrol (COPP) program was established. Cathy Jackson has been the coordinator since that time. In addition to COPP shifts and special projects and events, she also does many administrative duties to support the programs that she is involved in. Cathy has dedicated tens of thousands of hours volunteering her time to support the Halton Regional Police Service and various community initiatives.
In 2015 alone, Cathy volunteered 1652 hours in support of The COPP program, Toys for Tots, McHappy Day, RIDE Program, Police Day, Midnight Madness, Special Friends Day, Torch Run for Special Olympics, Cram-a-cruiser, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Ribfest, Pan Am Games, Producing the COPP Newsletter, and a variety of initiatives to promote road safety.
Cathy is an invaluable volunteer who assists the Service with any and all requests. She works without complaint and her professionalism and organizational skills help the numerous events and initiatives run smoothly in the eyes of the community. Cathy Jackson is truly a valued member of our team.
It is clear that Constable Matt Baker and Cathy Jackson’s efforts demonstrate their respect for the law and the community they serve. They have made a positive impact on the lives of many and are deserving of this recognition.