Blue Line

Features Dispatches
Dispatches: January/February 2023

February 2, 2023  By Brittani Schroeder

Photo credit: Ontario Provincial Police

Sadly, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) lost a member of its family on Dec. 27, in the line of duty. Provincial Cst. Grzegorz (Greg) Pierzchala, of the Haldimand County Detachment, was shot and killed while responding to a motor vehicle collision in Hagersville, Ont. Provincial Constable Pierzchala had dreamed of becoming a police officer since he was a young boy. He had a brief opportunity to live out his dream and to do his best to keep the community safe. The OPP grieves alongside Provincial Constable Pierzchala’s family and will continue to support them in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Photo credit: Altona Police Service

Dan Defer has been promoted to Chief of the Altona Police Service. Defer started out as a constable in the Altona Police Service 33 years ago, and has spent a number of years as a sergeant, where he was second-in-command. He also stepped in to fill the acting chief of police position whenever needed. In 2019, he received the Governor General’s Police Exemplary Service Medal, which recognizes police officers who have served in an exemplary manner, characterized by good conduct, industry and efficiency. Chief Defer’s first day in the position was Sept. 1.

Photo credit: Waterloo Regional Police Service

The Waterloo Regional Police Services Board has appointed Mark Crowell as the new Chief of Police of the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS). Chief Crowell is a 22-year-member of the WRPS. He served as the Deputy Chief of Police – Administration & Member Services for the past two years. “As Chief of Police, I look forward to working with the Board and our members to continue to provide the most effective and innovative service to Waterloo Region residents while pursuing a diverse and inclusive workplace,” said Chief Crowell.

Photo credit: Toronto Police Service

The Toronto Police Services Board has selected Myron Demkiw, M.O.M., as the new Chief of Police of the Toronto Police Service. Demkiw is a 32-year veteran of the service and was previously the Acting Deputy Chief of the Specialized Operations Command. Chief Demkiw assumed the role of Chief of Police on Dec. 19, following a three-month transition period. “I am honoured to be the next Chief of the Toronto Police Service. I am deeply invested in the city of Toronto and its people, and I am committed to the integrity and success of the Toronto Police Service,” said Chief Demkiw.


Photo credit: Ottawa Police Service

The Ottawa Police Services Board has chosen Eric Stubbs as the new Chief of Police for the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). Stubbs was previously an Assistant Commissioner with the RCMP where he held the role of Criminal Operations Officer for the Province of British Columbia. He began his role as Chief of the OPS on Nov. 17. “It is truly an honour, and I am humbled to become the police chief in the Capital of Canada. I’m looking forward to working with the great civilian and sworn members of the Ottawa Police Service, as we all work together with the communities we serve,” stated Chief Stubbs.

Photo credit: Barrie Police Service

The Barrie Police Services Board has appointed Rich Johnston as the next Chief of Police for the Barrie Police Service. Chief Johnston has been with the Barrie Police Service since 1998, serving in a variety of roles throughout the service. The change of command ceremony took place on Dec. 22. “I am committed to leading the Barrie Police Service in delivering public safety services with a focus on transparency and legitimacy, through progressive policing practices that support the well-being of our members and our community,” said Chief Johnston.

Photo credit: St. Thomas Police Service

Chris Herridge, the well-respected Chief of Police for the St. Thomas Police Service will be stepping down after nearly 35 years in policing. Herridge was appointed as the Police Chief in St. Thomas in 2017. “It has been both an honour and a privilege to serve the residents of St. Thomas as a police officer and your Chief but after almost 35, years it is time for a new journey… My heart will always be with the members of the St. Thomas Police Service and this community!”

Photo credit: St. Thomas Police Service

Deputy Chief Marc Roskamp has been selected as the new Chief of Police of the St. Thomas Police Service. He assumed the role in an Acting capacity in January until he officially takes over in May 2023. Roskamp, a 25-year veteran, was appointed as the Deputy Chief in April 2018. “It’s heartwarming to have learned so much from so many great leaders before me. A main priority of mine will be to ensure the St. Thomas Police Service continues to deliver services to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism,” said Chief Designate Roskamp.

Photo credit: York Regional Police Service

The York Regional Police Services Board has selected a new Deputy Chief for York Regional Police, Alvaro Almeida. Deputy Chief Almeida assumed the role on Oct. 3. Almeida has more than 34 years of law enforcement experience in a variety of assignments. He co-led the cultural transformation at York Regional Police, called Breakthrough, that has inspired positive organizational change to support and include all members. “I look forward to continuing the important work our organization is doing in the community, and internally, working closely with the members of our service, the Police Services Board and the public,” said Deputy Chief Almeida.

PROMOTIONS, RETIREMENTS, RECOGNITION • If you have an officer in your agency recently promoted or retiring or an individual you wish to have recognized (major award or recently deceased) you can let Blue Line magazine know by emailing:

Print this page


Stories continue below