Honouring a fallen officer, investing in promising women
OTTAWA, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Vera Reifenstein, President of Women in
Defence and Security (WiDS), joined by the Honourable Steven Blaney,
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and RCMP Acting
Deputy Commissioner Janice Armstrong, today announced the recipient of
the WiDS annual Memorial Scholarship award:
"Today we honour the memory of a fallen officer from law enforcement,
Constable Della Beyak of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Constable
Beyak embodied the best of women in defence and security -
intelligence, ambition, and commitment to her community. In 1989, she
would sacrifice her life while responding to a fatal motor vehicle
accident in a snowstorm, becoming the first female RCMP officer to die
in the line of duty," said Ms. Reifenstein.
"We express our deep gratitude for the sacrifices of women like
Constable Beyak in keeping our families safe and making our communities
better places to live and work. Public Safety Canada commends Women in
Defence and Security for their work in encouraging women to pursue
careers related to security and defence in Canada," said Minister
"Every day, female members of the RCMP put on their uniform with pride
and resolve, and go on with their duty of serving and protecting
Canadians. Their path was paved by young women like Constable Beyak,
and many others. Today honours the memory of those who choose to serve
and is a reminder of the great sacrifices that come with that choice,"
said Acting Deputy Commissioner Janice Armstrong.
"We recognize the qualities it took for Constable Beyak to join the
ranks of the RCMP, and seek to encourage women like her in the fields
of defence and security. That is why I am so pleased to announce that
Women in Defence and Security will support the studies of Leah
Sherriff, who served ten years as an Armoured Officer with the Royal
Canadian Dragoons. The 2014 WiDS Memorial Scholarship award will
contribute $5,000 as she pursues her legal studies at the University of
Toronto," added Ms. Reifenstein.
The 2014 WiDS Memorial Scholarship Awards brought together prominent
members of the defence and security field, including the RCMP, the
Department of National Defence, the City of Ottawa Emergency and
Protective Services and numerous industry representatives. WiDS was
also honoured to receive Cst. Beyak's family, who consider the WiDS
Memorial Scholarship to be a fitting tribute to her memory.
WiDS is a volunteer organization whose primary goal is the advancement
of women leaders in defence and security professions across Canada.
A backgrounder on the WiDS scholarship, as well as biographical notes on
Honouree Cst. Della Beyak and Recipient Leah Sherriff, can be found at www.wids.ca.
Follow Women in Defence and Security (@WiDS_Canada) on Twitter.
SOURCE: Women in Defense and Security
For further information:
VP Communications, WiDS