Detective Cathy Bawden admits being a police officer isn’t easy. She investigates crimes that would turn most people’s stomachs, helping victims move past long histories of violence and lead happier lives.
It’s a combination of her passion for helping people and her investigative skills that makes Det. Bawden a woman of distinction.
Det. Bawden was recognized for her work with Durham Regional Police at the YWCA Durham’s annual Woman of Distinction Awards on May 12th. The event was held at Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility in Ajax and was attended by over 300 people. She was one of 19 nominees.
Det. Bawden, a 15-year veteran of DRP, found her niche when she worked in the Child Abuse/Sexual Assault Unit. She felt like she could really help people and make a difference. “Her great compassion and ability to thoroughly investigate the most reprehensible of offences allowed victims to take back their voices and no longer be silenced by others,” said the award nomination, which was submitted by the parents of a victim Det. Bawden helped.
She is now DRP’s Domestic Violence Coordinator, a newly created position that is a perfect fit with her personality. She is responsible for investigating domestic violence incidents, monitoring and evaluating follow-ups to domestic violence cases, informing the public and media about domestic violence occurrence procedures and lecturing to community groups. Det. Bawden is passionate about her job and during her acceptance speech, she said, “they chose the right person”.
She was chosen for the position because of her dedication to making Durham Region a safer place to live for women and children who are vulnerable to violence.
Det. Bawden has a framed photo on her night table of a young girl she helped.
“On the mornings when I feel like I don’t want to go to work today, I look at her photo and it reminds me that I am making a difference and it makes it all worthwhile," she said.
DRP’s coordinator of volunteers, Susan Shetler was also nominated as a woman of distinction. Ms. Shetler has been a civilian employee of DRP for 30 years and has poured her heart into coordinating and mentoring several hundred community police volunteers. With Susan’s encouragement, many of DRP’s police volunteers have gone on to become police officers.
Congratulations to both Cathy and Susan on their outstanding achievements!
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Det. Cathy Bawden (JPG file, 28.8K bytes)