Jewish community volunteer Charles Schachnow received a Certificate of Valour from the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) at the 2016 Community Police Awards Ceremony, held May 31 at Ben Franklin Place.
On July 20, 2015, an OPS officer stopped three men who were publicly intoxicated in downtown Ottawa. The officer subdued one of the individuals, but was attacked by the other two. Schachnow spotted the incident and got out of his car to aid the officer.
Schachnow and another bystander, Jason Steeves – who also received a Certificate of Valour – helped subdue and retain control over the assailants until police reinforcements arrived. It was later found out the three men who were arrested were involved in an assault earlier that evening.
Schachnow told the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin that he felt compelled to take action when he saw that the officer was overwhelmed. He was more than happy to help, he said.
“I would’ve done it for anybody; not only for a police officer, but for anybody on the street,” he said. “If I saw somebody being attacked, I would’ve helped them out.”
Schachnow was in the area doing volunteer work for Jewish Family Services’ StreetSmarts Outreach Program, which provides food, clothing and support to the homeless.