Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial
Ontario Police Memorial
Each year ceremonies take place to pay tribute and honour those members of law enforcement agencies who
have died in the line of duty.
The ceremony at the Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial takes place each September in Ottawa.
The Ontario Police Memorial, located adjacent to Queen's Park in Toronto, was officially dedicated in 2000 and
the ceremony takes place there, each May.
We pay tribute to the seven police officers who served in the Niagara Region and gave their lives in the line of
duty. These members of "Niagara's finest" are honoured each year at the ceremonies of remembrance.
Joseph Trueman (age 35 years)
Start Date - Welland
Police Force - May 1920
Start Date - Thorold Police Force - Sept. 1921
Died - "Shot" walking the beat in Thorold
Dec. 17, 1922
Joseph Trueman was born on Monday
April 25th 1887, in the Town of Balleygawley, of the
County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland. He was one of
ten children (five boys & five girls) born to
Joseph Trueman and his loving wife Sarah Matilda
Trueman (nee: Givan).
At the age of twenty-one he decided
to travel to Canada, the land of opportunity, and
make his life there. His older brother and sister,
William & Matilda were already living in Canada
and young Joseph stayed with them in Toronto until
securing a job as a bank messenger in Welland,
Ontario. His brother and sister soon moved west to
British Columbia with their young families, while he
remained in Ontario. Joseph continued his employment
with the Imperial Bank for a number of years and was
an active member of the community. He was a member
of the Copestone Masonic Lodge as well an active
member of the Welland Baptist Church.
Shortly after his thirty-third
birthday Joseph Trueman decided to become a police
officer, so he joined the Welland Police Department.
In September of 1921 he moved to the nearby town of
Thorold, Ontario and became a member of the police
Described as gracious, kind and
thoughtful, Joseph Trueman had a smile and kindly
greeting whenever one met him on the street. He was
a likable, warmhearted, Irishman, who prided himself
in a job well done, overlooking no duty.
In the early morning hours of
Sunday, December 17th 1922, while alone in town on
foot patrol, thirty-five year old Joseph Trueman was
confronted by a known bootlegger and was shot to
As a result of his strong sense of
duty, Joseph Trueman ultimately and tragically made
the supreme sacrifice and gave his life enforcing
the rule of law to protect society from the evils of
violence and crime.
At the time of his death, Constable
Trueman was engaged to married.
||Constable James A. McNicoll
(age 27 years)
Start Date - Crowland
Township Police Force (Welland Police) 1928
Died - "Shot" while responding to a
"Gun Call" - Sept. 2, 1930
In 1928, James at the age of 25, became a Constable with the Crowland Township Police Force. Crowland
Township later becomes part of the City of Welland. Here, Constable McNicoll quickly established a reputation
as a courteous and fearless officer and was esteemed by his fellow officers.
On Tuesday September 2 1930 at approximately 8 p.m., Constable McNicoll was on duty at Police
Headquarters located on Steel Street. He was talking
to Customs and Excise Officer George Spencer when
an emergency call was received to a Sixth Street residence reporting a gun being fired. Constable McNicoll
immediately rushed to the scene in a car driven by Spencer. Arriving at the scene moments later,
Constable McNicoll approached the house while Spencer parked his car.
As Constable McNicoll arrived at the steps leading to a glass enclosed verandah at the front of the residence,
a 45 year old man inside and hidden from sight, rose up pointing a double barreled 12 gauge shotgun at
Constable McNicoll. Without warning, the man fired the gun at Constable McNicoll striking the officer in the
head. McNicoll never had a chance to draw his service revolver. He died instantly from a single shotgun wound
to the head. A 17-year-old and a 12-year-old girl playing across the street from this residence suffered minor
shotgun pellet wounds to their legs.
Constable James Albert McNicoll was 27 years old at the time of his death. He left behind his wife and four
children ranging in ages from 18 months old to 7 years old.
The suspect was arrested for the murder of Constable McNicoll. Following a trial, an appeal and second trial,
the accused was sentenced to death by hanging. On Friday May 15 1931 at 5:30 a.m., as the morning sun
began to rise, the accused was hanged in the courtyard of the County Jail in
Constable James Albert McNicoll was the grandfather of
retired Niagara Regional Police Service member -
Detective Sergeant Rick Berketa.
Dennis Winstanley (age 31 years)
Start Date - Stamford
Township Police Force (Niagara Falls Police) Mar.
Died - "Run Down" by an Impaired Driver -
Feb. 3, 1962
On March 31st 1958, Dennis J.
Winstanley joined the Stamford Township Police
Department (later the City of Niagara Falls) at
twenty-seven years of age. The young officer was
married and the father to two young children.
On Saturday, February 3rd 1962, just
shy of completing his fourth year of service as a
police officer, Constable Winstanley was killed in
the performance of his duties after he was run down
by a motorist. Constable Winstanley had
stopped a vehicle on Garner Road in the city of
Niagara Falls for a routine traffic
investigation. While standing beside his
cruiser, interviewing the driver of the stopped
vehicle, Constable Winstanley was struck and killed
by a passing vehicle.
Through the efforts and alertness of
three of the deceased's fellow officers, the suspect
driver was apprehended in the vehicle about a
kilometer and a half from the scene. The male driver
was arrested and later charged with impaired driving
Constable Winstanley was described
by then Chief J. L. Cunningham, as being a quiet,
unassuming, talented, and conscientious officer,
well liked by the public and his fellow officers;
but above all, a good husband and a loving father.
Dennis was survived by his loving
wife, Audrey Ruth Winstanley and his two children
Judith and Kevin.
Aside from police work, Dennis
Winstanley was very proficient in auto mechanics as
well as woodworking and was involved in set design
and construction in the local theatre and was also
keenly interested in auto racing.
His untimely death left a gaping
void, in his own home, his community and in the
police department to which he belonged.
Luciano De Simone (age 25 years)
Start Date - Niagara
Regional Police Force - Aug. 1, 1972
Died - "Cruiser Accident" responding to a
disturbance, Niagara Falls - May 2, 1974
On August 1st 1972, Luciano De Simone joined the Niagara Regional Police Force and was assigned to
uniform patrol duties, initially in One Division in St. Catharines and then later out of the detachment in Fort Erie,
Ontario. He was twenty-three years old and resided with his parents in the Town of Fort Erie.
On May 2nd 1974, while working the evening
shift in Fort Erie, Luciano was dispatched to the City of Niagara Falls in
response to other police officers needing assistance with a major disturbance on Queen Street in the
downtown area of that city.
Constable De Simone was driving
northbound on the Queen Elizabeth Way from Fort
Erie, traveling on the Chippawa Creek bridge
overpass, when his cruiser struck the rear of a
flatbed transport truck that had stopped and was not
visible to approaching traffic. The truck
driver had stopped his rig in order to render
assistance to a motorist who moments earlier had
been involved in an accident on the highway.
Constable De Simone was transported to the Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls, but prior to
arrival succumbed to the injuries he had received in the crash.
The Ontario Provincial Police investigated the collision and no charges were laid in regards to this
Constable De Simone
was described as an extremely kind and loving man
who enjoyed spending time with his family and
friends. He enjoyed basketball, fishing and
riding his motorcycle. He always wanted to
serve as a police officer and looked forward to
becoming a motorcycle officer one day.
This promising young officer was just twenty-five years of age when he died and was the first
officer of the newly formed Niagara Regional
Police Force to die in the performance of his duties.
At the time of his death, Constable De Simone was
engaged to be married.
Stephen Peazel (age 36 years)
Start Date - Niagara
Regional Police Force - Apr. 28, 1975
Died - "Hit while directing Traffic" -
Jan. 25, 1988 (complications due to the incident)
On April 28th 1975, Stephen Peazel
joined the Niagara Regional Police Force at the age
of twenty-three and eagerly took on the duties and
responsibilities of a police constable.
A few years later in his career he
married and he and his wife Sherrill (an O.P.P.
Constable) settled in Port Colborne, Ontario and
began the added challenge of raising a family. They
had two sons, Thomas Allan (Tommy) and James Joseph
On December 27th 1980, Constable Peazel was performing uniform duties and was directing traffic in the City
of St. Catharines, when a vehicle traveling northbound on Geneva Street passed by him and struck him on his
left side, injuring his left leg and foot. The driver of the vehicle was stopped and apprehended moments later
and subsequently charged with Careless Driving.
Constable Peazel was transported to the hotel Dieu Hospital in St. Catharines and was treated for the injuries
to his leg and foot and later released.
Steve was a big guy and not one prone to complaining and unfortunately it was not realized for some time the
serious nature and the extent of the trauma to his foot and leg. He returned to active duty shortly after the
incident but his health began deteriorating over the next couple of years, to the point that he could no longer
On January 25th 1988, at thirty-six years of age, this young officer died as a result of ensuing medical
complications caused from blood clots in his injured leg and foot breaking away and collecting in his lungs.
This dedicated officer, who had a great love for his job was well liked and respected by all those who knew him
and worked with him. He loved to fish and enjoy life to the fullest and even when he was feeling his worst, he
always had the hope that some day he would return to his chosen profession.
Steve is missed by all who knew him.
Jeffrey Paolozzi (age 32 years)
Start Date - Niagara
Regional Police Force - Sept. 20, 1982
Died - "Shot" accidental Tactical Training
Session - Feb. 6, 1993
On September 20th 1982, Jeffrey
Paolozzi joined the Niagara Regional Police Force as
a cadet at the age of twenty-two. Jeff had been an
active volunteer with the Niagara Regional Police
Auxiliary Unit for over a year prior to his being
Two years later, in September of
1984, Jeff was appointed to the position of 4th
Class Constable with the Police Force and began his
life long dream of being a police officer.
On the morning of Saturday February
6th 1993, just prior to beginning a tactical
training session at the police gun range, Jeff was
killed by a bullet, which had been accidentally
discharged from a tactical teammates firearm.
At the time of his passing, Jeff was
survived by his wife Elaine and his two young
children, Krysta (7) and Kevin (5).
Jeff was known as a dedicated
officer who served with distinction and who had been
the recipient of a number of commendations and
awards. He will be remembered as a good friend by
those whose lives he touched, a guy with a quick wit
and a tremendous sense of humor who was a
perfectionist in everything he did. He was a
highly skilled sniper with the Emergency Task Unit
and described as a "crack shot".
Over one thousand police officers
from both Canada and the United States, along with
emergency services personnel from throughout Niagara
were in attendance at a full police funeral to bid
this thirty-two year old officer a final farewell.
Daniel Rathonyi (age 41 years)
Start Date - Niagara
Regional Police Service - 2000
Died - "Collapsed" during completion of Emerg.
Task Force Unit Fitness Test - Sept. 15, 2005
On Thursday, September 15th, 2005, Constable Rathonyi collapsed and died as a result of heart failure while completing a fitness test for the Emergency Task Unit.
Constable Rathonyi and his family immigrated to Canada from Hungary in 1995. After arriving in Canada, Constable Rathonyi realized the beginning of his dream to become a police officer. In June of 2000, he was hired by the Niagara Regional Police Service as a Court Escort officer. He performed so well that, in September 2001, he was hired as a constable.
Constable Rathonyi was an excellent athlete and a three-time National Hungarian Junior Canoeing Champion.
Constable Rathonyi was described as an honourable and dedicated police officer who believed in protecting society and preserving our freedoms. He possessed an extremely positive attitude and was recognized for his service to the public and enthusiasm for his profession.
At the time of his death, Constable Rathonyi was forty-one years old. He was married to Agnes and they had two sons, Tom and Attila.