New OPP memorial unveiled for officers who die ‘because of duty’

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Ontario Provincial Police have constructed a suicide memorial for lost officers.

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The outdoor memorial — located at the OPP General Headquarters in Orillia — is open to the public and recognizes officers whose deaths were related to their line of duty rather than in the line of duty.

This has been called “because of duty death.”

The memorial is also meant to be a reminder to officers struggling with mental health issues that there is care and services available to them.

The OPP does not track suicide deaths of its members but friends, families or other officers are able to submit names that could be placed on a wall of engraved plaques inside the Orillia headquarters.

Ontario Provincial police have unveiled a new suicide memorial to honour officers who die because of their line of duty rather than in the line of duty.
Ontario Provincial police have unveiled a new suicide memorial to honour officers who die because of their line of duty rather than in the line of duty. Photo by Handout /Ontario Provincial Police

The OPP would follow up with family to ensure their wishes are respected.

“After speaking with families of officers who had died by suicide, it was evident that we needed a way to recognize and remember the significant contribution these officers made to our communities and our province,” OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said Friday.

“This memorial is a testament to our members’ dedication to duty each and every day,” he said. “It’s a testament to those who tragically died by suicide, but served our organization, our communities and our province with pride, professionalism and honour.”

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Work-related trauma and PTSD can be common for first responders, said Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo.

“This new memorial — the first of its kind in Canada — will be a much-needed and safe place for colleagues, friends and family to remember their loved ones,” he said. “Our government stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our dedicated policing heroes, and we will always ensure that we prioritize their health and well-being.”

Those interested in submitting a name to the suicide memorial can call 1-844-677-9409 or email OPPHealth@opp.ca

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