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Our Members. Our Focus. Our Strength.

Today Provincial Constable Nicholls attended Court in Collingwood, Ontario for sentencing in relation to the Court’s October 26, 2023 finding of guilt on the charge of assault causing bodily harm. Based on the sentencing submissions of Provincial Constable Nicholls counsel and the Crown the Court imposed a suspended sentence.

The OPPA can advise, on behalf of Provincial Constable Nicholls, that there is merit to an appeal, and one will be filed. The appeal will be based on the Court’s errors including but not limited to the following issues:

  • Incorrect application of s.25 of the Criminal Code by:

(a) determining that s. 25 requires a police officer to perceive a threat, as opposed to permitting use of force to affect the officer’s purpose regardless of the existence of a threat;

(b) improperly assessing the incident through the lens of the reasonableness of the complainant’s actions;

(c) failing to apply the requisite modified objective test to the assessment of the reasonableness of the officer’s actions;

  • An unreasonable finding as to the degree of force actually applied;
  • Incorrect assessment of whether there was a reasonable foreseeability of bodily harm;
  • Improper finding that the complainant’s injury was the product of an intentional application of force; and
  • A general misapprehension of the evidence.

The OPP Association will continue to support Provincial Constable Nicholls through the appeal and is optimistic that the outcome will be favourable.

John Cerasuolo – President, Ontario Provincial Police Association 

Media inquiries:
Scott Mills
Email: communications@oppa.ca
Cell 647-449-2801
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OSHAWA, ON, March 25, 2024 /CNW/ – Today, all charges were withdrawn against our members, OPP Provincial Constables Nathan Vanderheyden, Kenneth Pengelly and Grayson Cappus in relation to a police-involved shooting in Lindsay on November 26, 2020.

On that day a family suffered the death of their child. The lives of the family, our police officers, and civilian members have been forever impacted. One of our members sustained very serious life altering injuries during the response to that tragic incident. When an incident such as this occurs, it affects the families, the community, and our entire policing family.

OPP Association President John Cerasuolo states:

“The circumstances of this incident involving the death of an innocent child are tragic for all involved. We offer our sympathies to the child’s family. It is our duty to serve and protect and we take that duty very seriously. Unfortunately, as police officers protect public safety in highly volatile and fast-moving dangerous situations, unexpected outcomes may result. It is a correct and just decision made today that the charges against our members have been withdrawn. We have stated from the outset that our members acted courageously and professionally during an extremely dangerous situation. We were confident that as the case proceeded through justice system that the evidence would vindicate the officers.  It is important for the public to understand that if police are charged with an offence, they have the presumption of innocence, and in this case it has been determined that on the totality of the evidence there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.  Our officers were doing their job according to their training.”

We encourage anyone impacted by this situation to reach out and lean on those closest to them as well as seek professional mental health assistance. We also encourage you to reach in to those you know are impacted by this tragedy.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge offers mental health supports to residents of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Peterborough and County, and Northumberland. To learn more about the programs and services they offer, visit cmhahkpr.ca or call 705-328-2704.

The Ontario Provincial Police Association’s (OPPA) Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program is available to our members and their families by calling 24/7: 1-866-794-9117 or by visiting encompascare.ca.

Confidential support services are available to all OPP members, families, retirees, and auxiliaries through the OPP’s Healthy Workplace Team (HWT) available by phone, toll-free at 1-844-OPP-9409

(1-844-677-9409), or by directly contacting any HWT member.

Media Contact: Scott Mills Cell 647-449-2801 Email: communications@oppa.ca

For Immediate Release
December 7, 2023

Statement – Bail Reform Legislation Receives Royal Assent

OTTAWA – Tom Stamatakis, President of the Canadian Police Association, Mark Baxter, President of the Police Association of Ontario, John Cerasuolo, President of the Ontario Provincial Police Association, and Jon Reid, President of the Toronto Police Association, jointly released a statement today following Royal Assent being given to Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bail reform). This important legislation was supported by all members of the Canadian Police Association, and was originally introduced following the high-profile murders of police officers in Ontario, and across Canada, by violent offenders who were, at the time of the attacks, on release from previous convictions.

“Front-line police personnel applaud all Members of Parliament for their work on passing common sense bail reform that specifically targets serious, repeat violent offenders. Perhaps most importantly, this legislation which was passed unanimously by all elected Members of the House of Commons, sends a strong signal to our Courts that community safety must be a key concern when considering whether proven, prolific offenders should be granted bail and released before being held accountable for their actions.” – Mr. Tom Stamatakis, President, Canadian Police Association.

“Police associations, and the members we collectively represent, sincerely appreciate the work done by former and current Justice Ministers David Lametti and Arif Virani, building on the consensus developed by leaders of provincial and municipal governments across Canada, on this important issue. The safety of our communities should be a thoroughly non-partisan issue, and Bill C-48 proves that when all stakeholders come together, we can quickly identify solutions to address serious problems.” – Mr. Mark Baxter, President, Police Association of Ontario.

“We hope that this legislation is only the first step in meaningful justice reform that recognizes that bail is a fundamental right, and the presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our justice system, but that we can work collaboratively to identify potential evidence-based legislative and administrative changes to address the concerns that many Canadians have expressed, when highlighting their concerns of deteriorating public safety in their communities. We believe that by working together, we can better protect the public and ensure a fair and effective justice system.” – Mr. John Cerasuolo, President, Ontario Provincial Police Association.

“The past 15 months have been difficult for the policing community in Canada, with eight murders of police officers who were engaged in the exercise of their duties across the country. Passing this bail reform legislation is important action that shows that their sacrifices are recognized, and that our elected officials are ready to take concrete steps to help protect not just our law enforcement personnel, but also the communities they serve.” – Mr. Jon Reid, President, Toronto Police Association.

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The Canadian Police Association (CPA) is Canada’s largest law enforcement advocacy organization and the national voice for 60,000 police personnel across Canada. Membership includes police personnel serving in 160 police services across Canada, from Canada’s smallest towns and villages as well as those working in our largest municipal and provincial police services, and members of the railway police, and first nations’ police personnel.

For additional information:
Mr. Michael Gendron
Communications Officer, Canadian Police Association
(613) 299-6516 / mgendron@cpa-acp.ca

Media Contact for OPP Association:

Scott Mills Email: communications@oppa.ca / Cell 647-449-2801

Barrie, Ontario

November 28, 2023

“The OPP Association will fully support OPP Provincial Constable Bailey Nicholls to the conclusion of this proceeding. We believed that the evidence, including the video released today, would result in the acquittal of PC Nicholls. The decision is obviously very disappointing. We have viewed the video. It is our position that force used in the circumstances was minimal, appropriate, and commiserate in the full circumstances of the incident. It is important to note that the full interaction with the intoxicated female that informed the officer’s response was not captured in the video. We believe that while a reasonable member of the public viewing the video may not accept the officer’s use of force they would be left wondering how that interaction resulted in the injury and a conviction for ‘assault cause bodily harm’. We are analyzing and reviewing the decision of Justice Olver, and once the legal process is concluded, a determination will be made about the merits of an appeal.”

John Cerasuolo
President, Ontario Provincial Police Association

Media Inquiries:
Scott Mills
Email: communications@oppa.ca
Cell 647-449-2801 

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Barrie, Ontario

“The OPP Association will fully support OPP Provincial Constable Bailey Nicholls to the conclusion of this proceeding. On October 26, 2023 Justice Jon Olver read a verdict of guilty of assault causing bodily harm for Constable Bailey Nicholls after a trial in Orillia Court. We believed that the evidence would result in the acquittal of PC Nicholls and today’s decision is obviously very disappointing. We are analyzing and reviewing the decision of Justice Olver, and once the legal process is concluded, a determination will be made about the merits of an appeal.”

John Cerasuolo
President, Ontario Provincial Police Association

Media Inquiries:
Scott Mills
Email: communications@oppa.ca
Cell 647-449-2801 

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Barrie, Ontario

The OPP Association was disappointed and outraged to learn that convicted murderer and dangerous offender, Paul Bernardo has been moved to a medium security prison. We understand that the Correctional Service of Canada is reviewing this decision with a focus on the impact on the victim families and a ‘trauma informed approach’ after a public and political outcry. We cannot remain silent on this issue. Families of the victims deserve better, as do our members.

In this case, and in the case of several others where police officers were murdered, the OPP Association closely monitors parole hearings for offenders. Our members and their families are often outraged at the decisions made. These decisions are often made with minimal consultation due to privacy laws protecting offenders.

We urge the Correctional Service Canada and the Parole Board of Canada to consider first and foremost the victim families, public safety, and the health and welfare of members at all times when making decisions relating to dangerous offenders and police officer killers.

There is significant trauma that our members are exposed to during investigations of horrendous crimes that people like Paul Bernardo have been convicted of and whereby declared a dangerous offender.
Our members work tirelessly to gather the evidence to convict offenders like Paul Bernardo, often at great peril to their own mental health and the well being of their families. When the system lets us down the vicarious trauma experienced by our members is lived all over again in the form of sanctuary trauma, further harming the health and welfare of our members.

Equally, when a police officer is murdered, our members are exposed to extraordinary circumstances and further trauma. Our members gather and present the evidence to the Court resulting in offenders being convicted and sentenced to life in prison. We, along with Canadians, expect that these offenders will remain in prison for life, not gain early release based on good behaviour, and in the case of a Paul Bernardo, and other dangerous offenders, remain in a maximum security institution for the rest of their lives.

~ John Cerasuolo, President OPP Association ~

Media contact: Scott Mills cell 647-449-2801 or email communications@oppa.ca
 
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Canada’s Police Associations Welcome Government of Canada Action on Bail Reform

OTTAWA –Associations representing Canada’s front-line law enforcement personnel released a joint statement today, welcoming the introduction of Bill C-48 (An Act to Amend the Criminal Code – Bail Reform), by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. The full statement issued by the Canadian Police Association is attached below. 

“Our members have seen first-hand the tragic results that can happen when repeat violent offenders are continuously released without concern for the impact that has on community safety. Over the past 8 months, the policing community, and all Canadians have mourned the loss of too many murdered police officers. In December, we persevered through the tragic loss of Ontario Provincial Police Constable Grzegorz (Greg) Pierzchala and now another heartbreaking funeral being held this week for Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Eric Mueller. Our members appreciate the virtually unprecedented consensus that formed calling for concrete action on bail reform, and we’re glad to see the government has responded with the introduction of Bill C-48. We look forward to working with all stakeholders and Parliamentarians to see this legislation pass quickly.”

John Cerasuolo, President, Ontario Provincial Police Association.

Media Contact: Scott Mills cell 647-449-2801 communications@oppa.ca

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The OPP Association is devastated our member Sergeant Eric Mueller has been shot and killed in the line of duty, and two of our members have been wounded in Bourget, Ontario. We offer our deepest condolences to Sergeant Mueller’s wife and two young children, to his colleagues and friends. Eric will always be remembered for his service and sacrifice. 

All three officers are from the Russell County OPP Detachment in the Ottawa area. 

OPP Association President John Cerasulo states:

“There are no words to express the pain we are all feeling regarding this recent tragedy involving the murder of OPP Sergeant Eric Mueller, who was killed in the line of duty May 11. His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. He will always be remembered as a Hero in Life, Not Death. Two officers were also injured during the event and are currently in hospital. We are hoping for the recovery of these officers. We send our thoughts to their families and colleagues during this difficult time.

Policing is a dangerous job 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Officers go to work every day to serve and protect the citizens of Ontario. This situation demonstrates that there is no such thing as a routine call. It cannot go unsaid that this is the 9th officer in Canada to be killed in the line of duty in the past several months – our members are asking “When will this violence end?”. 

The risk that officers take every day cannot be overstated, and their sacrifice cannot be taken for granted. Our entire policing community, including our communicators and all civilian support staff are deeply affected by these line of duty deaths, as is our entire community. We don’t have all of the answers. Please keep Sergeant Eric Mueller, his wife, and children, his colleagues, and our policing family in your thoughts as we navigate and grieve this unspeakable tragedy.”

OPP Commissioner Carrique has publicly stated this morning:

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we regretfully advise that OPP Sgt. Eric Mueller has been killed in the line of duty. We await further word on his fellow officers who are still at hospital. Our thoughts are with the officers, their families and colleagues.”

OPP East Region have publicly stated the following:

“Shortly after 2 a.m. on May 11, 2023, officers from the Russell County OPP Detachment were dispatched to a disturbance at a home on Laval Street in Bourget, where someone had reported hearing a gunshot. Three officers arrived on the scene and all three were shot by an individual at the home. All three officers were transported to hospital in Ottawa. One of the officers has since died as a result of their injuries. The others are recovering. One person has been taken into custody and there is no risk to public safety. No further details are available at this time.”

The OPP Association President, members of the Board of Directors and OPPA staff are actively engaged in supporting our members and their families.

We all are hurting this morning. We have notified our Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program of these circumstances and they are available 24/7 for support for our members and their families by calling 1-866-794-9117, or online at encompascare.ca.

The OPP Association will be updating our members on email blastouts when further information is available. Follow our OPP Association social media channels (TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram) for public updates.

Further updates will be provided when available. 

Media contact for OPP Association:
Scott Mills
Cell 647-449-2801
Email communications@oppa.ca.

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In the early morning hours of August 20, 2022, OPP Provincial Constable Mike Walli was involved in a police pursuit of a vehicle that was wanted in connection with a fail to remain collision. In the course of the arrest the suspect experienced a non life threatening injury which resulted in the Special Investigations Unit invoking their mandate.

On March 13, 2023 the Special Investigations Unit announced charges against Provincial Constable Mike Walli of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, assault cause bodily harm and careless use of a firearm. 

The SIU press release can be read on the SIU website.

OPP Association President John Cerasuolo states:

The OPP Association supports OPP Provincial Constable Mike Walli who was carrying out his duties on August 20, 2022, when he responded to a call for a fail to remain vehicle collision in Orillia. As part of the OPP Association’s support of PC Walli, we provide him with legal counsel and we look forward to a vigorous legal defence as the matter proceeds through the justice system. We are mindful that the upcoming legal proceedings will be long and stressful for PC Walli and other OPPA members impacted by this incident. We encourage and urge all OPPA Members to reach out for professional and or peer mental health supports available by contacting 24/7 1-866-794-9117 or online at EncompasCare.ca.

Media inquires can be directed by email to Scott Mills communications@oppa.ca or cell 647-449-2801.

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TORONTO, ON, February 10, 2023 – After more than three weeks of evidence during the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Mr. Abdurahman Hassan the jury rendered their verdict today, finding no wrongdoing on the part of OPP Provincial Constable Andy Eberhardt and Peterbourough Police Constable Alicia McGriskin.

The Inquest Jury found that Mr. Hassan’s cause of death was sudden death during struggle/restraint in the setting of schizophrenia and hypertensive heart disease. The jury’s cause of death statement and verdict completely exonerated PC Eberhardt, Constable McGriskin and the nurses.

It is important to recognize and acknowledge that during this incident PC Eberhardt and Constable McGriskin conducted themselves in the best traditions of the OPP and Peterborough Police Service, and Ontarians can be thankful for their service.

Background
On June 10, 2015 at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre PC Eberhard along with Constable McGriskin of the Peterborough Police Service were on a ‘paid duty’ assignment to maintain the custody of Mr. Hassan while he was recovering from health issues.

In the late hours of June 10, 2015 and early on June 11, 2015 PC Eberhardt and Constable McGriskin assisted the dedicated nursing team to provide healthcare to Mr. Hassan. On both of those occasions the assistance of the officers was required by the nursing staff because Mr. Hassan was highly agitated, violent, uncontrollable, in addition to spitting and throwing feces at the nurses and officers. Their collective goal on both occasions was to ensure Mr. Hassan’s healthcare was addressed in a timely manner while ensuring the safety of all of the persons involved.

During the second incident, Mr. Hassan was again highly agitated, thrashing, uncontrollable, and spitting and throwing feces at the nurses and officers. While Mr. Hassan’s healthcare needs were being addressed, he was again restrained by the nurses and police and it was during this interaction that he suddenly and tragically died.

Sadly, our OPP officer, PC Eberhardt died in 2018. It is important to note that the jury was able to rely on a voluntary audio statement he provided to the Special Investigations Unit during their investigation of Mr. Hassan’s death. PC Eberhardt and Constable McGriskin were both subject officers in the SIU investigation, and were both cleared of wrongdoing by the Director of the SIU in 2017.

A copy of the verdict is attached to this press release.

Media Contact:
Ontario Provincial Police Association
Scott Mills
Strategic Communications Coordinator
communications@oppa.ca
Cell 647-449-2801

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