FOUR of Canada’s largest police associations representing more than 60,000 sworn and civilian police personnel announced on Friday they have joined forces to confront the growing wave of violence against police and the communities they serve and protect.
In a joint statement, the Canadian Police Association, the Police Association of Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, and the Toronto Police Association said:
ON Wednesday, January 4, 2023, we bid a final heartbreaking farewell to yet another of our officers. Haldimand County OPP Constable Greg Pierzchala was gunned down in broad daylight coming to the aid of what he thought were citizens in distress with a car in the ditch. The senseless murder of this young, promising and valued member of the OPP has left us all devastated and grieving particularly for his family, friends and colleagues.
Losing one police officer is obviously losing one too many. Yet the horrible reality is Constable Pierzchala is one of five officers in Canada killed on duty just in the past four months. We also mourn the loss of Constable Devon Northrup (South Simcoe Police), Constable Morgan Russell (South Simcoe Police), Constable Shaelyn Yang (RCMP) and Constable Andrew Hong (Toronto Police).
As four of Canada’s largest police associations representing more than 60,000 members, we are saying today what we are sure most Canadians are feeling: Enough is enough. We cannot allow the deaths of five of our members to go unchallenged. Instead, we can and must honour their sacrifice by identifying the issues that led to this unacceptable wave of violence.
Together over the next days, weeks, and months we will review the judicial and public safety frameworks, commit to further research to fully understand the best remedies, identify what isn’t working, and call for change to ensure that this does not continue. Everything will be on the table – from bail to sentencing, to enhancing Crime Stoppers, to a growing and chronic shortage of police officers.
At the same time, we will be reaching out to our memberships, to our communities, and indeed to all Canadians to help us ensure our recommendations are followed by action at all levels of government and society.
Our members need to be safe. Our communities need to be safe. The system needs to change. And it needs to change now.
Tom Stamatakis President
The Canadian Police Association (CPA)
Mark Baxter, President
The Police Association of Ontario (PAO)
John Cerasuolo, President
Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA)
Jon Reid, President
Toronto Police Association (TPA)