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Remembering Fallen Police Officers Across Rural Ontario

In late November grim news proliferated throughout Canada related to the tragic loss of an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Officer, Marc Hovingh, on Manitoulin Island.   There have unfortunately been other similar incidents and the following are some of the most memorable.

In May of 1982, Mount Forest OPP Constable Rick Hopkins was fatally shot in downtown Arthur. Jeffrey Breese from Moorefield was arrested and later sentenced to life in prison for a truly horrific ambush.

Former University of Waterloo student Scott Rossiter was a Constable for the Ingersoll Police Force in September of 1991 when a suspect wrestled his firearm away and shot him in the head. He died with a four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter less than a month past his 30th birthday. Anyone travelling between Waterloo Region and London may have noticed that the Highway 19 structure over Highway 401 is named the Constable Scott Rossiter Memorial Bridge.

A short ten years ago north of Seaforth in one of Canada’s most productive agricultural regions, Huron County OPP Constable Vu Pham was responding to a domestic situation and pulled over a pickup truck. The 70-year-old driver opened fire on Pham and both suspect and officer died later at London hospitals.

The first female OPP officer killed in the line of duty was Marg Eve, who was assisting other officers with a car suspected in a Windsor armed robbery on Highway 401 near Chatham during June of 2000.  She was struck roadside by a transport truck and her death is a reminder to always slow down and stay clear of first responders. An hour drive west of Ingersoll is the Sergeant Margaret Eve Memorial Bridge at Highway 40.

Waterloo Region residents readily remember the tragic 1998 deaths of local Constable David Nicholson and 12-year-old Mark Gage during an attempted rescue at the Parkhill Dam in Cambridge. A more emotionally draining and personally traumatic event is difficult to imagine anywhere.

In advance of a twenty- year memorial service for Constable Nicholson in August of 2018, Chief Bryan Larkin said we want to remember our heroes in life and not death.

Today and into the future that is how we will also remember Officers Hopkins, Rossiter, Pham, Eve and Hovingh. Thank you all for your service.

 

Written by Art Sinclair

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