Team Nick Coates Awards Are Presented to Police Officers For Their Work To Apprehend Impaired Drivers


ST. JOHN, Newfoundland and Labrador, June 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — MADD Canada presented its Team Nick Coates Awards to 14 police officers today for their work to take impaired drivers off provincial roads and highways.

This year’s awards honour 5 officers from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) and 9 officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). A Top Performer Award will be presented to the officer from each police service who took the most impaired drivers off the road.

“We are proud to recognize these officers for their amazing work. For every impaired driver these officers take off the roads, it is a potential tragedy averted. It means a family may not have to mourn a loved one,” said MADD Canada National President Tanya Hansen Pratt. “MADD Canada offers our heartfelt and lasting gratitude to them, they are making our roads and communities safer with their efforts.”


MADD Canada established the Team Nick Coates Awards in 2019 to recognize police officers for their efforts to detect and apprehend impaired drivers. Officers who have taken a minimum of 12 impaired drivers off the roads during the previous year receive the Gold Award. Officers who have taken at least 8 impaired drivers off the roads during the previous year receive the Silver Award. Officers also receive certificates and special challenge coins. (Charges/sanctions are based on Criminal Code investigations or 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition program sanctions.)

The award is named in honour of Nick Coates, who was killed by an impaired driver in August of 2013. Nick was riding his motorcycle back from a work meeting when he was hit by a pick-up truck driven by a man who had been drinking the night before and the morning of the crash. Just 27 years old, Nick was working his dream job as a civil engineer and was engaged to be married.

This year’s awards ceremony, held at RNC Headquarters in St. John’s, included: Nick’s father Terry Coates and stepmother Patricia Hynes-Coates, who is a former National President of MADD Canada; Superintendent Kent Osmond, RCMP; Deputy Chief Colin McNeil, RNC; and MADD Canada Atlantic Regional Manager, Shayla Morag Steeves.

Awards were presented to:

2023/2024 RNC Recipients

Cst. Michael Burton – Silver
Cst. Shane McClafferty – Silver
Cst. Kyle Morrissey – Silver
Cst. Geoffrey Heffernan – Gold
Cst. Cody Langmead – Gold

2023/2024 RCMP Recipients

Cst. David Ballard – Silver
Cst. Jean-Francois Gagnon – Silver
Cst. Jarrett Thorne – Silver
Cst. Adam Graham – Gold
Cst. Bradley Layman – Gold
Cst. Mackenzie McCoy – Gold
Cst. Caleb Pellerin – Gold
Cst. Janet Reddy – Gold
Cpl. Dennis Thornhill – Gold

The Top Performer Award was presented to Cst. Geoffrey Heffernan from the RNC, and Cst. Caleb Pellerin from the RCMP for achieving the highest number of charges and sanctions for their respective police services.

“RCMP NL remains dedicated to maintaining public safety, which includes roadway safety.  Impaired drivers continue to place themselves and others at increased levels of risk throughout our province.” said RCMP NL Commanding Officer Jennifer Ebert. “These RCMP and RNC officers, recognized by MADD Canada today, have shown a keen interest and ability in the enforcement of impaired drivers and I commend each of them for their continued efforts.”

“There is absolutely no reason anyone should get behind the wheel impaired,” said Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Chief Patrick R. Roche. “Impaired drivers have no place on our roadways. I commend our officers for doing their part to combat against impaired driving, but we all have a role to play. If you suspect an impaired driver, please call 911 immediately.”

MADD Canada thanks Patricia Hynes-Coates, Terry Coates, and the RNC and the RCMP for their ongoing support of the Awards program and this annual presentation ceremony.

For more information, contact:

Shayla Morag Steeves, MADD Canada Atlantic Regional Manager, [email protected], 1-800-665-6233, x232

Cst. James Cadigan, #775, Media Relations and Public Communications Officer, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, [email protected], 709-729-8658

Cpl. Jolene Garland, Media Relations Officer, RCMP NL, [email protected], 709-772-6170

Disclaimer: The above press release comes to you under an arrangement with GlobeNewswire. takes no editorial responsibility for the same.