When making an arrest, the next natural step isn't the push to press charges.
Police officers have a decision that can often determine a youth's life over the next few years. It's why, with cases involving kids, Richmond RCMP officer Adam Carmichael is less likely to do so.
"I feel like I have a decision to press charges or not," said the general duties officer.
"I like having the opportunity to give kids a second chance in life. Often the kids aren't troubled, they've just taken the wrong path. With restorative justice, you can swing them back onto the right path."
Carmichael has been part of the Richmond RCMP since 2009, and since he joined, the father of one daughter goes outside his regular police duties to make sure at-risk youth are connected to the right services.
For his efforts, he will be recognized at this year's 911 Awards, hosted by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, May 7 at 5 p.m.
The awards honour first responders who go outside their job requirements to ensure safety in the community.
"Every place has go-to people," said Carmichael's sergeant Roger Morrow. "Here, Adam is one of my top go-to people. He's got a personable demeanor and tackles everything head on."
Besides helping youth who've had brushes with the law, Carmichael proactively visits schools across Richmond and is a coach for the Richmond Ravens.
"When I was in high school, I always liked helping out, doing community service and volunteering," he said. "I love Richmond, and I see this as my chance to give back to the community. It's been awesome, a very positive experience."
After working at the River Rock Casino for a few years, he decided that, at the age of 26, he was going to try and apply for a position with the Richmond RCMP. He hasn't looked back since.
"When a kid comes back and thanks you after you've closed a file, it makes it all worth it," he said.
Carmichael also took the initiative to reduce impaired driving in Richmond by setting up more traffic stops Friday and Saturday nights. He conducted more than 100 investigations last year.
His work contributed to the province's goal of reducing impaired driving incidents by 35 per cent across B.C. - a goal that was set in 2008 and reached in 2012, a year ahead of its target.
The 911 Awards offers a unique opportunity for the city's first responders to gather under one roof for a night.
Where most cities' ceremonies honour each sector separately, Richmond is the only one to bring them together.
"It's really nice to share the experience with others," said Carmichael.
"We all essentially have the same job, but are responding to different things. We all live off the radio. It's great to be recognized for it."
The ceremony takes place at River Rock Casino Resort, 8811 River Road, from 5 to 9: 45 p.m.
Dinner is served at 6: 30 p.m., followed by the awards. Tickets are $110. For more information, call 604-2782822 or visit www.richmondchamber.ca.
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