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Members, access the Staffing Shortage Form here

Our Members. Our Focus. Our Strength.
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.

OPP Detective Sergeant Tara Bolstad of the Perth County Detachment and Detective Constable Kathleen Menard of the AGCO honoured Manitoulin OPP Provincial Constable Marc Hovingh with their participation in the US Law enforcement Memorial Run from Philadelphia to Washington DC during the annual American National Police Week – May 12-14th, 2023. This week the officers honoured Marc with a presentation of a framed portrait to Marc’s wife Lianne Hovingh.

March 4 to 10, 2024 is Social Work Week in Ontario, and across Canada, March is National Social Work Month. This March, we invite you to learn more about how #SocialWorkOpensDoors for people across Ontario, and join us in celebrating this essential work. 

Social Workers create meaningful and life changing connections with the individuals and families they support. They do this by being an empathetic witness, walking alongside individuals as they navigate the complexities of life challenges while providing evidenced-based treatment, resources and tools to cope. They also guide individuals to reach within themselves to identify their own capabilities, strengths and personal resiliency. The social workers connected to our First Responder communities are a valuable and important part of healing and hope for First Responders and their families.

While we are grateful every day for Social Workers, this week on Social Worker Week, we want to acknowledge the dedication and commitment that Social Workers display in their work with others who many find themselves needing a safe space to land life’s challenges. 

We are here to support 24/7/365. Please connect with one of the Encompas Team members by calling 1 866-794-9117 or emailing info@encompascare.ca .

OPP Association Director, and former OPPA President Rob Jamieson was appointed as a Member in the Order of Merit of the Police Forces at an Investiture Ceremony that took place at Rideau Hall on February 15, 2024. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, invested 1 Commander (C.O.M.), 16 Officers (O.O.M.) and 80 Members (M.O.M.) into the Order of Merit of the Police Forces during two ceremonies at Rideau Hall.

The Governor General and Mike Duheme, Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, delivered remarks honouring the appointees.

The Order of Merit of the Police Forces honours the leadership and exceptional service, or distinctive merit displayed by the members of Canadian police services and recognizes their commitment to Canada, contributions to policing, and community development.

Rob Jamieson is known for his leadership in pioneering the Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program addressing the need for sustainable action to assist members and their families with their mental health.
As word spread among the membership regarding Jamieson’s investiture to this prestigious order, a number of congratulatory messages from the membership were sent.

In one such message, OPPA Branch 4 Vice President, Dan Pyrah remarked, “On behalf of Branch 4, congratulations Rob on this well-deserved Member of the Order of Merit. You steered the OPPA through a very dark period in our history. The OPPA’s Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program that provides unlimited psychological help is your legacy. Your many years of dedication to our membership and our well-being has been recognized, not only by the OPPA, but by the Governor General of Canada. Once again, sincere congratulations.”

Jamieson was in good company with several OPP members being invested. OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique was invested as Commander in the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. OPP Superintendent Karen A. Meyer, OPP Detective Inspector Daniel Nadeau, OPP Superintendent Gary Warren Maracle, and OPP Superintendent Carole Matthews were invested as Members at the same ceremony. Fellow Police Association members appointed were former President of the Edmonton Police Association Michael Elliott invested as a Member, and former Police Association of Ontario President Bruce Chapman was appointed a promotion to Officer of The Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

For a complete list of the appointees across Canada invested in 2024, visit The Governor General’s press release.

Congratulations are extended from the OPP Association to all the appointees.

Photo of OPP Association Director Rob Jamieson and Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada by Sgt Anis Assari, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2024

OPP Detective Sergeant Tara Bolstad of the Perth County Detachment (in photo) and Detective Constable Kathleen Menard of the AGCO honoured Provincial Constable Greg Pierzchala with their participation in the US Law enforcement Memorial Run from Philadelphia to Washington DC during the annual American National Police Week – May 12-14th, 2023. On February 23, 2024 the officers honoured Greg with a presentation of a framed portrait to his family at OPPA Head Office in Barrie.

Please consider a GoFundMe donation to assist the daughter of two of our OPP Association members get the treatment she requires to recover. Avery Thompson was seriously injured in a hockey game and requires a specialized MRI available only in USA which is not covered by benefits.

The OPP have launched an OPP Family Wellness Resource Guide.