Durham Police officer, Durham College professor, receive ‘Serving with Pride’ Ally Awards

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Published October 21, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Durham Police Acting Staff Sergeant Dena Penden has been award this year’s 2SLGBTQ+Ally Award from Serving with Pride, a non-profit aiming to develop better working environments for 2SLGBTQ+ members of law-enforcement.

The Ally Award is presented to the officer in policing, corrections or criminal justice who “work tirelessly to build positive relationships and trust” between 2SLGBTQ+ colleagues and the organization they work for.

There are two categories for this award. Normally, an openly 2SLGBTQ+ member receives the Visibility award, while an ally to the community is commended with the Ally Award. Since Serving with Pride couldn’t host an event last year, two officers were awarded in each category this year instead.

Peden is an 18-year veteran of Durham Region Police who has served in the Diversity and Inclusion Unit since 2019 and is a former member of the Serving with Pride Board of Directors. “She has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive police service,” DRPS said in a statement.

Alongside Peden, former RCMP officer and current Durham College professor,Aaron Sheedy also received an Ally award.

The visibility awards went to Sgt. Mina Rahravan, the first woman to join York Police’s air support unit, and Sgt. Henry Dyck of Toronto Police.

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