Veteran Yellowknife RCMP officer wins national highway safety award

Yellowknife RCMP Sgt. Todd Scaplen receives his highway traffic safety award in Ottawa (photo courtesy of RCMP)

An veteran RCMP officer, currently based in Yellowknife, but well-known elsewhere in the Northwest Territories, has won a national highway safety award.

Sergeant Todd Scaplen is the 2019 Recipient of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Police Partnership Award.

Introduced in 2007, the CCMTA Police Partnership Award honours the achievements and service of active individual police officers, or units in developing key relationships with private or government sector agencies involved in highway transportation safety.

As a component of Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025: Towards Zero – The Safest Roads in the World, this award encourages the police, road safety partners and the public to “Rethink Road Safety”.

The GNWT’s Department of Infrastructure which oversees the territory’s highways, recognizing the good work being done in partnership, nominated Sgt. Scaplen for the prestigious award.

The infrastructure department states that the strategic partnerships include:

  • providing advice, direction and insight to the Dept. of Infrastructure as they worked to update the Motor Vehicles Act in preparation for the legalization of cannabis
  • providing support, advice and reviewing the update to traffic fines and penalties with the Dept of Infrastructure
  • joint traffic enforcement check stops, for both private and commercial vehicles, gaining knowledge of commercial vehicle inspections and providing excellent support for Dept. of Infrastructure
  • assisting with the NWT’s Roadside Surveys, which provides invaluable baseline data for future educational campaigns, law enforcement and future trends
  • providing data and feedback on usage in extreme cold weather of the Oral Fluid Screening Devices
  • trained as a Drug Recognition Expert, and now provides the training to RCMP members
  • meeting with the ice road joint venture, to prepare for the 9000 loads supplying the diamond mines each winter, ensuring that private citizens, aurora tour buses and large tractor trailers use the portion of the highway open to public in a harmonious way

Scaplen received the award in Ottawa at the CCMTA 2019 Awards and Recognition Ceremony on June 5.

Scaplen is a 16 year member of the RCMP.

He transferred into G Division, or NT RCMP in September of 2003.

Scaplen’s postings include Behchoko, Inuvik and Yellowknife.

In 2011, he was promoted to the Officer in Charge (NCO) of Traffic Services, and transferred to Hay River in 2013.

In September of 2018, Scaplen was promoted to sergeant and transferred back to Yellowknife.

He says he couldn’t have done it alone.

“This was an amazing honour and could not have been achieved without the support of my colleagues in Traffic Services, my supervisors and the great working relationship with the GNWT Department of Infrastructure,” said Scaplen. “Our strong partnership over the past 7 years has provided the foundation to achieve and implement road safety initiatives.”

Chief Superintendent Jamie Zettler, Commanding Officer, Northwest Territories RCMP had high praise for his officer.

“NT RCMP appreciates the strong partnership we have with the Department of Infrastructure as we work together to make NT’s roads the safest in Canada. We value the hard work and dedication Sgt. Todd Scaplen brings in building and maintaining these strategic partnerships. Receiving the CCMTA 2019 Police Partnership Award formally acknowledges this and we couldn’t be prouder of Sgt. Todd Scaplen.”


About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.