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