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Our Members. Our Focus. Our Strength.
OPPA Legal Counsel Natasha Udell Donates Blood MayOPPA Legal Counsel Natasha Udell donates blood in Ottawa this week as Sirens For Life 2nd Annual Campaign ramps up
OPPA Legal Counsel Natasha Udell donates blood in Ottawa this week
as Sirens For Life 2nd Annual Campaign ramps up

Ontario Provincial Police Association members and their families are invited to donate blood anytime between June 27th and September 3rd as First Responder departments compete to bring in the most blood donations in the 2nd Annual Sirens For Life.

The Sirens For Life Kickoff Event is happening Saturday June 22, 2024 from 10am-2pm at the Barrie Emergency Services Campus. Firehouse Subs will be donating free sub coupons to the first many donors to book appointments at this event. Cake, Tim Horton’s coffee and treats and much more will be a part of this event being organized by Cheryl Russell, the Community Development Manager Donor Relations and Collections for the Canadian Blood Services in Barrie.

Many of our OPPA Members are regular donors throughout the province. Be sure to let them know when you donate that you are contributing to the Sirens For Life event on behalf of the Ontario Provincial Police Association! Book your appointment online at Blood.ca.

On June 9th, 2024, we invite you to join us in supporting one of our own, Dylan MacKinnon, a 28-year-old member of the Ontario Provincial Police Emergency Response Team (ERT) West Region. Dylan was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Despite facing this daunting diagnosis, Dylan has shown incredible strength and resilience. After undergoing major spinal surgery, he embarked on the challenging journey of relearning how to walk while also progressing through his cancer treatment.

To show our solidarity and support for Dylan, as well as raise vital funds for Colon Cancer Research, we are organizing a walk/run event. This event is an opportunity for family, friends, and members of the first responder communities to come together and make a difference.

Event details:

  • Date: June 9th, 2024
  • Location: Green Lane Sports Complex, 8 Green Lane, Paris, ON, Canada
  • Registration and Check-in: 10:15 a.m.
  • Start of Walk/Run: 11:00 a.m. (approximately 6.5 km)
  • Lunch and Activities: 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Registration for the event is $50, which includes a Race Day T-shirt and a donation to the Cancer Society of Canada. Your participation and contribution will directly impact cancer research efforts and support individuals like Dylan who are bravely fighting this disease.

Together, let’s make Miles for MacKinnon a memorable and impactful event. Your presence and support will mean the world to Dylan and all those affected by cancer.

To register for the event or for more information, please visit the registration link below, or contact myself for further inquiries.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to seeing you at Miles for MacKinnon.

Congratulations to OPPA Director Mike Adair, and past OPPA Director Robert Welsh on being named Life Members of the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation, and congratulations to OPPA Benefits Coordinator Marilyn Thomson-Joseph on being named an Honourary Life Member for their dedicated service to the OPMF. Pictured L to R are Mike Adair, OPPA Director and OPMF Board Member Lynn Neale, Marilyn Thomson-Joseph, Robert Welsh, OPMF President and Toronto Police Association Director Jason Tomlinson and Mike Adair (with framed portrait presentation).

OPP Association Board of Directors attend the 25th Anniversary of the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation Ceremony of Remembrance May 5th, 2024 in Toronto. LtoR: Director Dave Dube, DirectorTerri Hubbert, Director Mike Adair, President John Cerasuolo, Vice President David Sabatini, Director Lynn Neale and Director Rob Jamieson
OPP Association Board of Directors attend the 25th Anniversary of the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation Ceremony of Remembrance May 5th, 2024 in Toronto. LtoR: Director Dave Dube, DirectorTerri Hubbert, Director Mike Adair, President John Cerasuolo, Vice President David Sabatini,
Director Lynn Neale and Director Rob Jamieson

The OPP Association Board of Directors thank everyone who turned out and supported the 25th Anniversary of the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation Ceremony of Remembrance at the Ontario Police Memorial on Queen’s Park Cr in Toronto on Sunday May 5th, 2024. A total of 281 names of police officers who have died in the line of duty are now engraved on the Memorial. There are 113 of those names were members of the Ontario Provincial Police.

This year, the names of OPP Sergeant Eric Mueller and OPP Detective Constable Steven Tourangeau were added to the Memorial, witnessed by their families who all attended the event. Two historical names were also added this year.

Several families of fallen officers attended the Ceremony, joined by a large contingent of police officers and civilian members. The event was attended by dignitaries, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Edith Dumon, The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, The Honourable Michael Kerzner, Solicitor General and Mayor of Toronto Olivia Chow.

A mass pipe pand, police motorcycles, mounted officers and thousands of uniformed police officers and civilian members were a part of the March Past saluting families following the one hour Ceremony, as families of the Fallen Officers, and dignitaries stood on the red carpeted platform to take the salute.

There was a live broadcast of the event, that included the Reading of the Names of all 281 police officers on the Memorial, as well as a special pre-show that celebrated the history of the Memorial with an interview of retired OPP officer Dave Brown, who has been the historian for the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation since its inception. Lianne Hovingh, widow of OPP Provincial Constable Marc Hovingh laid the wreath on behalf of families. Lianne, along with Nancy MacDonald, widow of Sudbury Police Service Constable Joe MacDonald both spoke in the pre-show about the significance of the Memorial to Survivors of Law Enforcement (SOLE), a support group for families of fallen officers.

OPP Sergeant Trevor McKean shared his story of the line of duty murder of his father, and the significance of the Memorial to his family and the entire police family. The Reading of the Names, the Pre-Show and the Ceremony including the March Past was broadcasted on large screens at the Memorial and live online. The Ceremony and the individual segments of the pre-show can be viewed anytime on the “HeroesInLife” Youtube channel. An album of photos is posted on the “HeroesInLife” Facebook page. Our fallen officers will always be remembered as our Heroes In Life, Not Death.

Watch archived livestream on OPMF Youtube of the 25th Anniversary of the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation Ceremony of Remembrance including the Reading of the Names, Pre-Show, Ceremony and March Past.

Since 2002, Ontario has permitted bridges and other highway structures to be dedicated in memory of fallen police officers. Seventy-six provincial highway structures have been dedicated to fallen police officers to date. This Spring two bridges have been dedicated. Our OPPA Board of Directors were honoured to be in attendance at both.

Widow of OPP Provincial Constable Vaughn B. McKay with OPPA Director Dave Dube
May 1, 2024 at Elk Lake Bridge Dedication (photo Jayne van der Veen)

On May 1, 2024 OPPA Director Dave Dube and OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique were in attendance at Elk Lake, Ontario where a bridge was dedicated to OPP Provincial Constable Vaughn B. McKay who died in the line of duty from injuries sustained from an on-duty vehicle collision that occurred in July 1973. Constable McKay died on December 20th, 1973 as a result of complications from his injuries sustained in the crash. At the time of his death Constable McKay was married with one son. A second son was born in 1974 after his death. His widow, Darlene McKay attended the ceremony and fondly recalled growing up with her high school sweetheart, describing him as “a great guy, super sports person of very good character, very funny, a fellow who would tease all the time.”

Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Thomas Carrique stated, “Provincial Constable McKay will continue to be remembered for the profound sacrifice that he made.”

Dave Dube stated that McKay was “a Hero In Life, Not Death.”

A CTV Northern story was published online complete with video reporting on the event.

Family of OPP Provincial Constable Norman F. Maker at May 3, 2024 Peterborough Bridge Dedication (photos Jayne van der Veen)

On May 3, 2024 a bridge in Peterborough, Ontario was officially dedicated in memory of OPP Provincial Constable Norman F. Maker who was tragically killed from a gunshot wound on May 3, 1928. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Muriel, and their two daughters: three-year-old Norma and three-month-old Connie. Many family members attended the event to honour Constable Maker.

OPPA Vice President David Sabatini was honoured to be in attendance in Peterbourough at the event along with OPPA 8 Branch President Rob Mahaffy. In a statement about the two bridge dedication events this spring Sabatini stated,

“The OPPA now has 113 police officers on the Honour Roll who have died in the line of duty. We never forget their service and sacrifice. Constables McKay and Maker died while honourably serving the citizens of the Province of Ontario. We will always be remembered them as Heroes In Life, Not Death.”

OPPA Vice President David Sabatini and OPPA 8 Branch President Rob Mahaffy at OPP Provincial Constable Norman F. Maker Bridge Dedication
OPPA Vice President David Sabatini and OPPA 8 Branch President Rob Mahaffy at
OPP Provincial Constable Norman F. Maker Bridge Dedication (photo Jayne van der Veen)

Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Thomas Carrique stated, “The dedication and commitment of Ontario’s police officers to their communities is exemplary. This bridge stands as a testament to honour Provincial Constable Maker’s memory. We vow to never forget his sacrifice, and this tribute will serve as a perpetual reminder of his legacy.”

Ontario Solicitor General Michael Kerzner stated, “Today we commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by Constable Norman F. Maker. Each day, police officers across Ontario put themselves in harm’s way to serve and safeguard their communities. We recognize and honour this steadfast commitment to duty and service.”

Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation stated, “It is only fitting this bridge will now be a tribute to a hero who served his community. We will always remember Constable Maker for his selflessness and the example he set.”

On Dec 10, 2013, the Ontario legislature proclaimed May 1st as First Responders Day.

The First Responders Day Act proclaims that “First Responders are those who, in early stages of an emergency, are responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property evidence and the environment”.

In celebration of First Responders Day, the Encompas Care Management Team is proud to highlight the photographic work of two OPPA members.

Thank you to Sgt. Kevin Driscoll of Wellington County OPP and PC Rick Pauls Central Hasting (Madoc) OPP for sharing their “day in the life” pictures.

The Encompas Care Management Team values the peer support that comes from members sharing their lived experiences, which confirms to other members, “I understand/I have been there.” Thank you to both of these officers for allowing us a glimpse into their world.

The Encompas Care Management Team encourages all first responders to look at their personal mental health through the lens of protection and preservation of life.

Whether you are new to your career in policing or near retirement, your mental health is deserving of the same protection and preservation of life that you selflessly give to your communities in daily service.

Today your communities will celebrate you. Our team is here to support you after the celebration.

We’re here for you 24/7/365. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our dedicated Encompas Team members for support. You can call us at 1 866-794-9117 or email us at info@encompascare.ca.

Click on video to listen to Presidents of the OPPA, TPA and PAO speak at today’s press conference

Today OPPA President John Cerasuolo was joined by OPPA Directors Rob Jamieson and Mike Adair, the Toronto Police Association, the Police Association of Ontario, Police Associations and Police Services from across Ontario, and Public Safety Personnel in Aurora for the Ontario Government launch of the Ontario Immediate Family Wellness Program (OIFWP).

This Ontario Government is investing $3.18 million into mental health services tailored specifically for the families of Public Safety Personnel in Ontario who have lost a loved one in the line of duty or to a suicide.

This program is modelled on the OPPA’s existing Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program (which will not change), and is specific to the extended families and loved ones of line of duty deaths and suicides who may not be covered by traditional dependent benefits.

The program serves as a lifeline, offering comprehensive support including counseling, therapy, and mental health treatment. The program will also provide compassionate assistance for up to two years following a tragedy, ensuring timely access to crucial services at no cost. Eligible family members, including partners, parents, siblings, children, or identified significant individuals, will have access to crisis support, counseling, and therapy via phone or online. 

This three-step care model encompasses crisis and care planning available 24/7, comprehensive services facilitating rapid access to counseling, and proactive care tailored to individual needs and locations.

For further details visit the Ontario Government press release for the launch below.

Today is the 4th Anniversary of the Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program, powered by Dalton Associates. We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone and reflect on the incredible impact this program has had on our members’ mental health and wellness.

We have had many highlights in our fourth year (as of Feb 28th), including:

  • 550 New Registrations in the 4th year of the Program
  • 2805 Individuals Registered since March 30th 2020
  • And, 38% of those reaching out are Family Members

As we look to the future, we are committed to continuing our support and program growth, and we applaud our members who have helped spread the word about the benefits of caring for one’s mental health. We remain dedicated to enhancing this program to better serve our members by removing barriers to accessing high-quality care, easing service navigation, and supporting the journey towards mental wellness. We look forward to the future success of the Encompas program and supporting even more members on their journey to better mental health and wellness.

All are welcome August 17th, 2024 at the Rockland Golf Club for the 2nd Annual Sergeant Eric Mueller Memorial Golf Tournament.

Every year, we unite in commemoration, celebrating the enduring memory of Sergeant Eric Mueller.

The proceeds of our golf tournament are channeled directly into the endowment fund bearing his esteemed name. This endowment stands as a beacon of hope, dedicated to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), extending vital support to families in their times of need.

Come join us at the Rockland Golf Club for a day filled with golf, fun, and camaraderie. The tournament will be held at 301 Montée. Outaouais, Rockland, ON K4K 1K3, Canada.

Get ready to tee off and enjoy a day on the greens in support of CHEO.

2024 Sergeant Eric Mueller Memorial Golf Tournament Committee contact Info:

Normand Lamontagne,Organizer
Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Detachment OPP
Natalie Lanthier-Lamontagne, Co-organizer
Russell County Detachment OPP

Email: sgtericmuellergolftournament@gmail.com

by Emily Brown / photo courtesy of OPP Museum circa 1974 first women in OPP Uniform Recruit Class

Editor’s Note: This article along with several more photos will be published in the next edition to “Beyond the Badge” magazine.

Since 1921, women have been playing a crucial role in shaping the OPP. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Women in Uniform in the Ontario Provincial Police.

Women in uniform have come a long way in the last 50 years. Before 1974, women were not allowed to serve as uniform members in the organization and were only permitted to hold civilian roles such as receptionists or data entry clerks. In 1972, a task force was established by the Solicitor-General’s Office of Ontario to investigate policing practices across the province. The task force discovered that female civilians and officers’ spouses were being asked to perform duties typically reserved for officers, such as searching or guarding female prisoners. The report questioned why women were being prevented from assuming positions as uniform officers.

Within the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Commissioner at the time, Harold H. Graham was supportive of the recruitment of women as provincial constables. The task force’s final report in February 1974 advocated for greater diversity within police services, and Graham quickly responded. On June 21, 1974, fifteen women graduated as provincial constables, marking a turning point in policing history in Ontario.

The women who graduated faced various challenges as they began their careers. Some fortunately encountered openness and a willingness to mentor, while others were faced with doubts and skepticism by their colleagues. Despite these challenges, 39 women joined the OPP in 1974, and the number steadily grew to 99 women in uniform by 1982. Many faced commentaries not only from their colleagues but in the media and from the public. Some decided to pursue other career paths or left policing to start families, while others remained committed to policing.

One such female trailblazer within the OPP was Carol Ann Marshall (Alfred), who emerged as a beacon of change. Marshall was hired in 1978, becoming the first black female officer to serve with the OPP.
In a profession that has always struggled to attract women and members from diverse backgrounds, Marshall deserves recognition for leading the way for the next generation.

Marshall was born in Barbados, in 1953. Her father, Ashton, was an assistant commissioner with the Barbados police. At 17, Marshall left Barbados to study in Virginia on an international scholarship, eventually finding her way to Canada to attend Trent University. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geography and an education degree from the University of Toronto. Marshall was a teacher in Ontario public schools and then went on to serve six years with the Ontario Provincial Police and was valedictorian of her OPP graduating class.

In a 2021 interview, Marshall reflected on her experience joining the OPP as the first black female member. “It wasn’t a big deal for me because I grew up in Barbados and my father was in the police force – I grew up surrounded by police officers, and many of them were women, so for me, it wasn’t a big deal,” Marshall commented. “It was only after I joined that people started making a big deal of it – for me it never was.”

Marshall initially began her career in education, but very shortly was told that she was going to be laid off. Because of her exposure to policing as a child, the OPP was a natural shift for her.
“I remembered the OPP because of my Dad, he was the International Police Association’s rep in Barbados, so he knew police officers all over the world – and I thought, ‘Well, this is something I know,’ and that’s what made me apply, and I got hired.”

Marshall went on to reflect on her tenure with the OPP and offered some sage words of wisdom for women both currently in law enforcement and women considering a career in policing.

“I think it is really important to know who you are as a woman before you join because you are going to be tested – a lot, whether you want to or not. It’s not a job to be taken lightly, it’s a huge commitment and it’s a serious commitment, so it’s important that when you join, you know that this is something I really want to do and look at all of the challenges that police officers face and determine if you want to be involved in all of that. Also, know what you value as a woman because all of that will be tested, and you are going to be held to a higher standard than the guys are.”

Marshall’s story highlights the importance of representation and perseverance. Her efforts deserve recognition for paving the way for future generations of women and individuals from diverse backgrounds in law enforcement.

The Ontario Provincial Police has set a goal to have a workforce that represents the communities it serves. Women in uniform roles remain underrepresented in frontline policing, but the OPP has made significant strides toward positive changes and empowering women to consider a career in policing. Women who are interested in pursuing a career in policing are encouraged to visit opp.ca/careers for more information on the hiring process.