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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.”