Police Association of Ontario Statement on the Tragic Death of Two Officers
It has been an extremely difficult week for the policing community here in Ontario as we mourn the senseless deaths of two officers who dedicated their lives to serving their communities. The tragic deaths of Constable Andrew Hong (Toronto Police Service) and Constable Travis Gillespie (York Regional Police) affect our tight-knit community on a deep level.
The Police Association of Ontario offers its sincere condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the officers we lost this week. This extends to the families and friends of the other victims affected by this week’s tragedies. Our policing community grieves with them together. Our thoughts are also with the witnesses to these tragedies. We hope that they are seeking comfort and solace from their loved ones and are getting the mental health support that they need.
Officers across Ontario go to work each day understanding the risks inherent in policing, but the thought of two our own not making it home breaks our hearts.
In the face of these tragedies, police personnel across Ontario continue showing up to work, ready to protect their communities. Adding grief on top of the everyday traumas our members are exposed to creates additional risks to our members’ mental health and well-being. We are urging our members to make use of support networks and all available resources. Talk to people you trust about how you are coping. It’s okay not to be okay.
Thank you to all first responders for the critical role they played in both tragic incidents and to the members of the Toronto, York, Halton, Hamilton and Peel Police Associations for their support. Your efforts are appreciated, and you are not alone.
Finally, thank you to the general public for the outpouring of support for our community. Know that your voices are being heard and appreciated by our members.
Mark Baxter, President
On behalf of the Police Association of Ontario’s Board of Directors