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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.”

Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program

Wednesday, December 6th – 10:00am ET – 11:00am ET

About the Speaker:

Elizabeth is a First Responder spouse of both a Canadian Armed Forces reservist and Police Sergeant. Her husband of 20 years, Andrew Gough CD is a Military Police/Close Protection Operator and medically retired Police Sergeant with London Police Service. Together they founded V-EH! Veterans and Everyday Heroes in 2019 – a federal not-for-profit organization. They have spoken on a number of platforms, sharing their journey through an OSI to offer their reflections on Post Traumatic Growth. In Elizabeth’s professional life, she is an Early Years Advisor with the Ministry of Education/Ontario Public Service and is also a dedicated community volunteer and leader on several initiatives to champion sport, children, and women’s causes.  Elizabeth and Andrew have two teenage children and reside in St. Thomas Ontario.

About the Session:

Join us on Wednesday, December 6th, from 10:00am ET – 11:00am ET to have a conversation with Elizabeth Gough, a first responder spouse, as she provides an intimate and honest account of her experience living with and loving a first responder with an Operational Stress Injury. She will share reflections on her family’s trauma journey – where their story with an OSI began and their collective experience with it. Elizabeth will take us on a journey through the difficult identification of the injury, her loving assertation that her spouse seek help, life and culture as a military and police family, parenting in a home of trauma, pathways of healing, and unexpected possibilities. Elizabeth may be joined by her eighteen-year-old daughter Ava who will share her reflection on growing up with a Dad with an OSI. This session will delve into the impacts of PTSD, not just on the serving member but also on the spouse and family. 

Visit www.encompascare.ca to learn more.

Note: To ensure your anonymity, your registration information will ONLY be available to the hosts from Dalton Associates. Registrants will NOT have the option of turning on their camera or microphone at any time. Questions will be managed through the text Q&A which are sent only to the hosts – Dalton Associates. They will either answer those questions verbally without referencing the name of the participant who asked the question, or privately through the text function. 

All sessions will be delivered through the PHIPA compliant version of Zoom Webinar.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact encompas@daltonassociates.ca

The 2023 OPP Association President’s Banquet was well attended and meaningful for all. The President John Cerasuolo, VP David Sabatini and the OPPA Board of Directors thanks all who attended.

Special thank you to our honoured guests:

•  The Attorney General of Ontario, the Honourable Doug Downey
•  The Parliamentary Assistant to the Attorney General of Ontario Brian Saunderson
•  The Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police Thomas Carrique
•  OPP Provincial Commander Mary Silverthorn
•  OPP Deputy Commissioner Chris Harkins 
•  OPP Deputy Commissioner Marty Kearns 
•  OPP Deputy Commissioner Rohan Thompson 

Congratulations to all Members and Staff recognized and who received awards.  

Carrie Lanning was recognized for being a PACE Graduate.

Honourary Life Memberships were awarded to OPPA Head Office Staff Members Carolyn Soderberg, Wayne White, Emma Storey and Alexandra Micoli.

Harry deJong was recognzied for his long service to the OPP Association as Editor of the OPPA’s Beyond the Badge Magazine from 2005-2023.

The 2023 OPPA Bill Elliott Member of the Year Award was presented to Jill Lewis from Branch 6.

A ‘Victim Services Presentation’ to recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond their call of duty to assist families of our fallen and injured officers during the past year as we dealt with the line of duty deaths of Provincial Constable Greg Pierzchala, Sergeant Eric Mueller and Detective Constable Steven Tourangeau. Honoured members were James Tremblay, Ionut (John) Mihuta, Carla Birnie Lise Durocher, Steve McDade, Jamie-Lynn Meyer and Julie Prud’homme.

The formalities of the evening concluded with a presentation to our member, Marc Lauzon, one of our injured officers who has made remarkable progress from the night of the incident of our fallen brother Eric Mueller. Marc is an impressive example of resilience in relation to such a tragic incident.

Sincere appreciation including several standing ovations was a fitting way to end the 2023 OPPA AGM. Thank you to each and every member and staff member who made a contribution to the success of this annual special week for the OPP Association.

Watch videos from the event on OPP Association TikTok by clicking on image below

Photo album of the event is posted on the Ontario Provincial Police Association Facebook page