TORONTO – Thursday, December 10, 2020 – The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) is the official provincial representative body for front-line sworn and civilian police personnel in Ontario. Members of the PAO gathered virtually today for a Special General Meeting of the Membership in regards to a request made by the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) to join the organization.
The PAO membership – comprised of elected representatives from 46 municipal police associations across the province, who represent over 18,000 police officers and civilian police service employees – voted unanimously in favour of the OPPA’s affiliation with the PAO. The OPPA’s membership in the PAO will become effective on January 1, 2021, and it will serve to further unite a significant portion of Ontario’s police personnel under one provincial umbrella.
“I am so pleased to announce that the PAO membership endorsed the OPPA’s affiliation,” said PAO President Bruce Chapman. “Our provincial advocacy efforts, which include ensuring our members have access to adequate tools and resources to effectively uphold public safety and supporting the mental health and wellness of all first responders, will now be reflective of the priorities of nearly all policing members across Ontario. I truly believe we are stronger together, and I look forward to the OPPA being an active member of the PAO.”
"The OPP Association are excited to join the Police Association of Ontario. The formality of officially joining the PAO will formalize our years of collaboration to represent the interests of our members and the safety of the public,” said OPPA President Rob Stinson. “Our members work hard every day to keep our communities safe, healthy, and prosperous. Professional, well-trained, and committed, our members provide effective policing services to Ontario communities across nearly a million square kilometres of land and 100,000 square kilometres of waterway.
Our members are proud to serve and are honoured to join the Police Association of Ontario.”
“The Ontario government is committed to supporting frontline police officers and civilian police employees who are essential to the safety and well-being of our communities,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “This new affiliation between the PAO and OPPA will build on the strengths of both memberships as we work together to advance public safety in Ontario.”
With the OPPA joining the PAO membership in the new year, the PAO will become the official provincial representative and voice for over 28,000 sworn and civilian members who make up the overwhelming majority of Ontario’s policing professionals. Local level membership is composed of sworn police officers, 911 dispatchers, victim services personnel, special constables, administrative police service staff, and many more functions within policing, all of which are vital to ensuring that Ontario’s communities are safe and healthy places to live and work.
About the Police Association of Ontario
The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) is currently the official provincial representative body for 18,000 sworn and civilian police personnel from 46 local police associations across Ontario. A unifying voice for advocacy in policing, the PAO provides its member associations with representation, resource and support.
About the Ontario Provincial Police Association
The OPP Association works on behalf of all civilian and non-commissioned uniform Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). There are over 6,200 uniform and approximately 3,600 civilian members who belong to the Association. Our members work hard every day to keep our communities safe, healthy, and prosperous. Professional, well-trained, and committed, our members provide effective (and cost-effective) policing services to 324 Ontario communities. From Essex to Thessalon to Thunder Bay -- across nearly a million square kilometres of land and 100,000 square kilometres of waterways -- our members are proud to serve. While our members are looking out for our communities, the Association is looking out for them. As their sole bargaining agent, we represent members' interests in negotiations with the employer (the Ontario government). However, an equally important task is the promotion of healthy, safe work environments. We advocate for better tools and equipment, improved health and safety standards, and better supports for members suffering operational stress injuries, among other things. These improvements help keep our members -- and our communities -- productive and safe.
For OPP Association:
Scott Mills, Strategic Communications Coordinator
Sarah Coulter, Communications Manager