Jennifer Landry was a role model as a police officer and as a citizen, her sister says.
Last week, the Police Association of Ontario announced the recipients of the sixth annual Police Services Hero of the Year Awards program.
Landry, who died while off-duty in October 2020, was posthumously awarded the 2021 Community Role Model award. She was an OPP constable with the Temiskaming detachment and a former Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (NAPS) officer
Her sister Leahan Parrott said the award couldn’t be more fitting and well-deserved because Landry was a role model not only as a police officer but as a mother to her eight-year-old daughter Charlie, sister, daughter and friend.
“She was a role model in all aspects. She was a good role model to Charlie, always making time for her,” Parrott said. “Even the weekend she passed away, she was at my house for Thanksgiving dinner, playing cards, she went hunting with her aunt. She just was very present in all of her relationships, made time for all of us. We could always count on her.”
Landry was a member of Matachewan First Nation. She served as president of the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group and sat with the Ontario Native Women’s Association and the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
“I always thought she was crazy because she just always wanted to go back to policing, she just loved it. And she loved being in the community,” Parrott said.
Landry didn’t like giving out tickets but loved interacting with people and all the other aspects of policing, according to Parrott.
After Landry died, many people reached out to the family sharing their stories about her and saying how she would go out on a call and check up on people afterwards or how she was the nicest officer who’s ever arrested them, Parrott recalled with a light chuckle.
Landry’s spirit name is Light That Goes on Forever.
“When this happened, whenever friends who didn’t know that messaged me and said she is the light to all of us, light to everyone she came in contact with and I said, ‘Well, did you know her spirit name was Light That Goes on Forever?’ That was really special,” Parrott said.
The communities that Landry served include the James Bay coast, Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Englehart.
When she worked up the coast, she used to send Parrott pictures of the children she'd meet there. Parrott said Landry loved going to the James Bay region and Kashechewan was her favourite community.
She once sent Parrott a photo of her police truck that had a sticky note on it that said, “We love cops.”
“It was some of the kids in the community who posted that on her window and she took a picture of it, it was cute,” Parrott recalled.
In a statement, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox said Landry was well respected and liked by members of the communities in which she served.
“Jennifer dedicated her life to helping others and served with pride and distinction. She was a tireless volunteer and a strong advocate for women through her work with several Indigenous organizations. We give thanks for her many years of service and dedication to our families and communities,” he said.
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com