Brandon Police Service Staff Sgt. Rod Koscielny recently received the Provincial Excellence in Law Enforcement Award, which recognizes officers who have made outstanding contributions to the community and public safety. Koscielny has since retired from the force. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Tracking down bank robbers, fraudsters and killers —all in a career’s work for a pair of Brandon Police Service officers who were recently honoured for their years of service with the force.
One recipient, Rod Koscielny, said he was just doing his job, but it’s nice to be honoured with such an award, nonetheless.
"You don’t sign up for these kind of recognitions, you sign up to serve the public and it’s an honour to do that," said Koscielny, who happened to retire from the force shortly after receiving the award. "It was an even bigger honour to be recognized by your peers."
Koscielny and Sgt. Mike Melanson both recently received the province’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award, which recognizes officers who have made outstanding contributions to the community and public safety.
They received their medals in Winnipeg on Nov. 14 during the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police Conference. Koscielny said he found the moment "overwhelming" and was delighted to share it with his wife, Nancy, who was present for the ceremony.
BPS Chief Ian Grant said Koscielny and Melanson’s awards are a credit to the force.
"Both officers are very deserving of it," Grant said. "They’ve served our organization very well in every job they’ve been in, in every function of the job."
The medal marks a nice end to Koscielny’s 31-year policing career as he recently retired as a staff sergeant.
He started with the BPS in July 1982 and his many duties have included time on patrol and traffic duty and in investigation, intelligence, vice and computer-guided policing.
Known for his attention to detail, Koscielny is credited with solving several major cases.
Among them, a case from 2000 in which his investigation into a cheque fraud in Brandon led to the discovery of numerous unreported frauds in Winnipeg and across Western Canada. With the help of other agencies, a suspect was identified, arrested and convicted.
In 1995, Koscielny identified a suspect in a Brandon bank robbery. Based on an FBI bulletin about a Canadian arrested in the United States that happened to cross his desk, Koscielny tracked down the suspect and his work led to the laying of charges for car theft, weapons offences and armed robbery.
More recently, Koscielny has overseen improvements to the force’s court, clerical and support operations.
He also co-ordinated the force’s move from the old police station to the new headquarters.
Away from the police station, his work in the community has included more than 15 years as a minor hockey coach and volunteer.
Melanson, meanwhile, continues an already successful career with the force and is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigation Unit.
The former military police officer — who also served as a peacekeeper in Cyprus and Bosnia and was awarded the Canadian Peace Keeping Service Medal — joined the Brandon Police Service in November 1998.
Like Koscielny, Melanson has served the force in a variety of units — in platoon, traffic, community policing, patrol support and criminal investigation.
He’s a leader on the BPS Crisis Negotiation Unit and in charge of an investigation team in the Criminal Investigation Unit, where he’s considered a mentor, and taken the lead in a number of complex, high-profile investigations including homicides.
He has taken part in the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, and he’s involved with the local diabetes association.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 6, 2013