'She loved her job’: Late northern Ontario OPP officer receives prestigious policing award

A northern Ontario police officer who died last fall has been awarded a prestigious police hero award for being a role model to others and for her dedication to the communities she worked in.

Ontario Provincial Police Const. Jennifer Landry received the 2021 Police Services Hero of The Year Community Role Model Award for her work as an officer with the Nishnawbe Aski Police and the Ontario Provincial Police.

Her family said she always wanted to wear the badge and uniform of a police officer.

“Anyone that knew her, knew that she loved her job and that she served her communities with love, compassion and passion,” her sister, Leahan Parrott, said, with tears in her eyes.

Landry worked out of the Temiskaming detachment for about a year and a half. Before joining the OPP, she was a police officer with the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service.

“Everything she’s being recognized for is definitely deserving,” said her former Nishnawbe Aski Police Service co-worker, Tammy Gregoire. “She always went above and beyond. Always.”

Landry volunteered for various Indigenous organizations in the District of Temiskaming. She served as president on the board of directors for the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group for many terms. She sat with the Ontario Native Women’s Association and the Native Women’s Association of Canada representing our District.

“As a daughter, she was unbelievable," her mother Lillianne Jobson said. "She did everything for her mother and for her sister.”

Landry tragically died in a hunting accident while she was off-duty on Oct. 13, 2020, when a hunting rifle discharged.

Landry’s dedication to policing, kindness and community involvement in the James Bay coast, Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Engelhard led to her posthumously win the 2021 Community Role Model Award. The honour is handed out each year by the Police Association of Ontario.

'It was an honour'

“It was an initiative that we started back in 2015 and what we did is encourage members of the public to nominate and recognize and the outstanding work done by local police,” said outgoing president Bruce Chapman. “It was an honour to name her as one of our police service’s heroes.”

Chapman said her various acts of kindness included giving an elderly man who was suffering from mental health and addiction issues money to purchase food and coffee while he waited for his family to pick him up.

“She’d be grateful for it and honoured,” said Parrott. “Yesterday, I was thinking about how she would want to acknowledge all of the other officers who were nominated.”

Landry left behind her eight-year-old daughter as well as memories of her time as a police officer. Her family and colleagues said the award is well-deserving. They recall the story of her reluctance to sometimes not issue tickets to speeding drivers due to her kind nature.

“Every time she pulled someone over, she’d say ‘Do I have to?’” laughed Parrott.

Landry’s family said the award will hold a special place in their hearts as a treasured memory of an officer who did all she could in the communities she served.