St. John’s, NL – MADD Canada is proud to present 17 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) with Team Nick Coates Awards for their outstanding work to take impaired drivers off provincial roads and highways.  

The Team Nick Coates Awards were established by MADD Canada in 2019 as a way to annually recognize police officers for their efforts to catch impaired drivers. Officers who have taken a minimum of 12 impaired drivers off the roads during the previous year receive the Gold Award. Officers who have taken at least 8 impaired drivers off the roads during the previous year receive the Silver Award. (Charges/sanctions are based on Criminal Code investigations or 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition program sanctions.)

The award is named in honour of Nick Coates, who was killed by an impaired driver in August of 2013. Nick was riding his motorcycle back from a work meeting when he was hit by a pick-up truck driven by a man who had been drinking the night before and the morning of the crash. Just 27 years old, Nick was working his dream job as a civil engineer and was engaged to be married. 

“Every time someone gets behind the wheel impaired, there is the potential for a crash. There is the potential for someone to be killed. There is the potential for a family to suddenly be facing a lifetime of grief and loss, as our family has,” said Nick’s father, Terry Coates. “We are proud to honour Nick’s memory with these awards, and we are pleased to recognize these officers for their incredible efforts to prevent impaired driving, crashes, deaths and injuries.” 

Together with Mr. Coates and Nick’s stepmother Patricia Hynes-Coates, who is a former MADD Canada National President, MADD Canada is proud to present our 2019/2020 Team Nick Coates Awards to the following officers.
*denotes returning award winner

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Newfoundland and Labrador

Cst. Corey Goulding, East District – Gold (15 drivers)

Cpl. Heather Gray Ellis, East District – Gold (12 drivers)

Cst. Dustin MacIntyre, Labrador District – Silver (8 drivers)

Cst. Peter MacIntyre*, Labrador District – Silver (9 drivers)

Cst. Caleb Pellerin, West District, Gold (23 drivers)

Cst. Camille Quirion , Labrador District – Silver (8 drivers)

Cst. Jarrett Thorne, East District, Gold (18 drivers)

Cst. Francis Turgeon*, Labrador District, Gold (23 drivers)

Cst. Raymond Whalen*, East District, Gold (13 drivers)

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

Cst. Joseph Burry* – Gold (15 drivers)  

Cst. Jenna Currie* – Silver (8 drivers)

Cst. Geoffrey Heffernan – Silver (8 drivers)

Cst. Michael Hunt – Silver (8 drivers) 

Cst. Shane McClafferty* – Silver (9 drivers)

Cst. Renee McDonald – Silver (11 drivers)

Cst. Zachary Putt – Silver (8 drivers)

Cst. Matthew Tibbo* – Silver (10 drivers)

“Impaired driving is a choice that tragically destroys lives, causing deaths and catastrophic injuries that are entirely preventable,” said Assistant Commissioner Ches Parsons, Commanding Officer of RCMP Newfoundland and Labrador. “I commend all the police officers recognized this year by MADD Canada with Team Nick Coates Awards for their exceptional work in combatting impaired driving. The RCMP’s number one priority is public safety and we will continue to focus on making the roadways throughout our province safer for everyone. I extend my appreciation to MADD Canada for its important work and recognition of our police officers.”

“It is truly disappointing to know that we continue to face such a challenge in our community in relation to impaired driving. A senseless act that has brought devastation to so many families and communities,” said RNC Chief Joseph Boland. “We will remain steadfast in our efforts to identify and prevent impaired driving in our communities through both education and enforcement. I send my sincere congratulations to the officers being recognized for their significant contribution to this effort, and leading the way for our organization in protecting the health and safety of our communities.”

The awards announcement follows last week’s National Police Week, in which MADD Canada joined with all Canadians to thank all police services, officers and staff, across the province and the country, for their dedication to keeping communities safe. 

“On behalf of MADD Canada and victims and survivors of impaired driving, we want to thank these officers for their extraordinary efforts,” said MADD Canada National President Jaymie-Lyne Hancock. “We are grateful for and inspired by the work they do every day to make roads safer and to protect people from impaired drivers.”

MADD Canada thanks the Coates family, the RCMP and the RNC for their support of the Team Nick Coates Awards. 

For more information, contact:  

Susan MacAskill, MADD Canada Atlantic Region Manager, 1-866-798-6233 or
Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager, 1-800-665-6233, ext. 240 or

Cst. James C. Cadigan, RNC Media Relations/Communications Officer, 709-729-8658 / 709-728-9577 or

Cpl. Jolene L. Garland, Media Relations Officer, RCMP B Division, 709-772-6170  / 709-685-9147  or