Policing - Bridge Dedications

Policing - Bridge Dedications

London Area Bridges Dedicated To Fallen Police Officers

Ontario Government Pays Tribute to Seven OPP Members

December 1, 2011

London Area Bridges Dedicated To Fallen Police Officers

Seven London area bridges have been officially dedicated in the memory of fallen officers from the Ontario Provincial Police.

  • Corporal Henry Gilchrist died in 1954
  • Constable Alex Prodan died in 1964
  • Constable William Shores died in 1980
  • Constable Scott Rossiter died in 1991
  • Constable Dale Wagar died in 2005
  • Constable Al Hack died in 2009
  • Constable John Ross died in1984

Memorial signs with each officer’s name and police service crest have been posted at each end of the bridge honouring them.


Quotes

“These bridge dedications are a tribute to seven hard working officers and a reminder to Ontarians of the sacrifice these brave police officers made to keep the community safe.”
— Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“Ontario’s police officers put the safety of our communities before their own safety. These bridge dedications will commemorate the ultimate sacrifice the officers and their families made on our behalf.”
— Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Transportation

“Dedicating these bridges today is a reminder of those who dedicate their lives to protecting us so our families can live in safe communities and travel on safe highways.”
— Chris Bentley, Minister of Energy and MPP for London West

"The men and women of the OPP are very pleased to see that this community and the provincial government have recognized the sacrifice made by their fallen brothers and sisters. We will not forget them.”
— Chris D. Lewis, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police


Quick Facts

  • Ontario has permitted bridges and other highway structures to be dedicated in memory of fallen police officers since 2002. The Highway Memorial for Fallen Police Officers Act, 2002 is based on a private member’s bill introduced by Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci.
  • Since 2002, 30 provincial highway structures have been dedicated in honour of fallen police officers.

Learn More


London Area Bridges Dedicated To Fallen Police Officers

Corporal Henry Gilchrist
Otter Creek Bridge (Highway 3)

Henry Gilchrist was born in Ireland on January 4, 1913, and immigrated to Canada with his family as a young man. He joined the OPP on April 9, 1938.

Corporal Gilchrist spent most of his time serving in southwestern Ontario. As a constable, his first posting was in Lucan and in 1940 before he moved to the Elgin detachment. Some time later Gilchrist moved to OPP district headquarters in London and worked in the radio room there.

Gilchrist was made corporal on October 1,1949 and later transferred to his final post as detachment commander at Tillsonburg in 1951.

On February 16, 1954, Gilchrist was travelling on Highway 3 from Aylmer to Tillsonburg and was involved in a car crash and died.

Corporal Gilchrist was a member of the Iona Masonic Lodge and later the Shrine Club. He was predeceased by his first wife and was survived by his second wife and three children.

Constable Alexander Prodan
Iona Road Bridge (at Highway 401)

After joining the Ontario Provincial Police in July 1958, Prodan was posted to London Detachment, and also worked at Grand Bend, and at Dutton Detachment during the summer season.

On August 30, 1964, Constable Prodan was pursuing a speeding motorist along Highway 401. There had been recent changes to the highway, widening it to allow for four lanes with a grass covered median. A driver, unfamiliar with the changes, mistakenly drove onto the wrong lane and collided head on with Constable Prodan’s cruiser. The vehicle caught fire which led to Constable Prodan’s death.

Constable Prodan, 28 at the time of his death, was survived by his wife and four children.

Constable William Shores
Highbury Avenue (at Highway 401)

William (Bill) Shores was born November 30, 1938 in London and joined the OPP on April 6, 1964 and served in the London detachment for 12 years before transferring to Dutton Detachment.

On November 19, 1980, Constable Shores and his partner were investigating a motor vehicle accident where a car had gone over an embankment. Shores complained of not feeling well after climbing down and then back up the hill. However, he reported to work the following evening.

On November 30, Constable Shores responded to a domestic complaint. Constable Shores arrested a man at the scene on a charge of intoxication in a public place and handcuffed the suspect. During the incident, Constable Shores suffered a massive heart attack and died.

He was survived by his wife and two children.

Constable John Ross
Oxford County Road 59 (at Highway 401)

Jack (John) Ross was born on September 3, 1928 and grew up on a family farm in Oxford County. He attended Woodstock Collegiate until the sudden death of his father forced him to leave school to work on the farm.

He sold the farm in 1962 and joined the OPP. He began his career in Essex Detachment and later moved back to his hometown of Woodstock.

Constable Ross died on October 7, 1984 when he and another officer were shot by one of two men who had been involved in a hostage taking. The two men had earlier killed two other individuals, including another police officer.

The Jack Ross Sports Bursary for students at Woodstock Collegiate has been created and a local road, Jack Ross Drive, was designated in his honour.

He was survived by his wife and five children.

Constable Scott Rossiter
Highway 19 (at Highway 401)

Scott Rossiter was born in St. Thomas on August 21, 1961. He was the president of his high school student council and dedicated team player for football team. After high school, Scott attended the University of Waterloo and studied economics.

He soon realized he had developed an interest in law enforcement. He attended Fanshawe College in the Police Foundations Law and Security program. He joined the Peel Regional Police Force in 1981 and remained with Peel for eight years.

Constable Rossiter wanted his family to grow up in a smaller community so he joined the Ingersoll Police Force in 1989 and settled his family in his home town of St. Thomas. The OPP later amalgamated with the Ingersoll police service.

On September 19, 1990, directly behind the Ingersoll Police Headquarters, Constable Rossiter completed a routine check on an adult male. The suspect gained control of Rossiter’s weapon and shot him which led to the constable’s death. He was survived by his wife Penny and two children.


CONTACTS

Jenn Kett, Minister Bentley’s office, 416-327-6747
Rebecca MacKenzie, Minister Meilleur’s office, 416-325-8282
David Salter,Minister Chiarelli’s office, 416-327-1815
Greg Flood, MCSCS Communications Branch, 416-325-0432
Sergeant Dave Rektor, OPP, 519-319-5778 (cell)