A.B.L.E. President Jacqueline Edwards Honoured with Ontario Police Leaders' Highest Honour

A.B.L.E. President Jacqueline Edwards Honoured with Ontario Police Leaders' Highest Honour

Association of Black Law Enforcers' President Honoured with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) President's Award of Merit 

Media Release

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2021

The Association of Black Law Enforcers (A.B.L.E.) is pleased to announce President Jacqueline Edwards as the 2021 recipient of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) President's Award of Merit - the Association's highest honour.

Since 1992, A.B.L.E. has been a strong voice in improving the image of law enforcement within the community, enhancing the professionalism of its members by recognizing, supporting and valuing education and confronting anti-Black racism within law enforcement.

"To be recognized by such an honour is deeply humbling and affirming," said President Edwards. "I am honoured to lead an organization of dedicated professionals who are passionate about addressing injustice and inequality faced by Black and other racialized communities. I stand on an incredible legacy of strong leadership and community support in this role, and I am dedicated to doing all within my circle of influence to identify and address issues of concerns affecting our membership, and those in our communities, who have faced injustice in our law enforcement systems. I am deeply appreciative of the OACP's commitment and courage to lead by not only their words but by their actions, and with a strong commitment to co-creating change."

A.B.L.E. has supported its members through professional development opportunities and meaningful advocacy on matters such as racial profiling, carding and systemic anti-Black racism. Under Jacqueline's leadership, there has been a re-energizing and refocus of the work that lays ahead in the eradication of systemic discrimination for Black law enforcers, and by extension, all persons facing injustice.

"In 1992, a group of Black police and peace officers formed A.B.L.E. to be an impactful voice for Black law enforcers," said Founding President of A.B.L.E., David Mitchell. "That year also saw a young Jacqueline Edwards as the first post-secondary Public Safety studies student to be recognized by A.B.L.E for her academic achievement and commitment to community service. Today in 2021, the fruits of that investment are seen in Jacqueline, not only serving as ABLE’s first female President and a senior command Peace Officer with Correctional Services Canada but also in this prestigious honour bestowed upon Jacqueline by the OACP for her leadership. As the founding President of A.B.L.E., I am proud to see the progress made and recognition given to Black Police and Peace Officers who serve, protect and correct. The OACP’s public recognition of our contribution, and Jacqueline’s leadership, to service and professionalism, is an important symbol indicating progress in the relationship between the community we come from and the profession(s) we serve in."

"As a long-standing member of A.B.L.E., I am thrilled to see Jackie receive this well-deserved honour," said Stacy-Ann Clarke, Superintendent with the Toronto Police Service. "The recognition and acknowledgement speak to both A.B.L.E.'s decades-long advocacy for Black law enforcers and Jackie's leadership in tirelessly pursuing justice, equality and the elimination of anti-Black racism in the criminal justice system - which not only benefits members of African, Black and Caribbean communities but by extension, all members of society - especially in these challenging times as we collectively reflect on the role of policing and ways to better serve all communities. The OACP is also to be applauded for partnering with A.B.L.E. as they seek to have more inclusive voices at the table."

Jacqueline was awarded this prestigious honour during the 2021 OACP Annual Awards.

Read more about the OACP President's Award of Merit here:

A.B.L.E. President Jacqueline Edwards Honoured with Ontario Police Leaders' Highest Honour - OACP


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