Duncan McAleese was born on September 20, 1946. In November 1972 he joined the Ontario Provincial Police serving initially at Milton and then at Acton where, in 1975, in commemoration of twenty-five years of O.P.P. policing, the community named all the O.P.P. officers at Acton, including Duncan, Citizens of the Year.
Duncan moved to Simcoe Detachment in 1976. On January 23, 1980, Constable McAleese was to meet with a man who had information about some drug activity. Constable McAleese knew the man as he had arrested him for impaired driving almost one year previously.
The informant didn’t show up at the restaurant at the scheduled time, but when Constable McAleese was preparing to leave, he saw the man’s truck and approached it and spoke to him. The informant then fired nine shots at Constable McAleese, hitting him the head, chest and stomach, and drove away, running over the fallen officer and dragging him for a short distance before fleeing.
Duncan McAleese was pronounced dead at the hospital. A memorial plaque was placed at the Simcoe Detachment in honour of Constable Duncan McAleese.
Robert Bruce Mitchell had been convicted of impaired driving. He was arrested four hours later after smashing the truck into a hydro pole. He was charged with first degree murder. Mitchell was found not guilty by reason of insanity in court in Newmarket in 1981. He was ordered held at the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre.
His wife and three children survived Duncan McAleese.