Bridge Dedicated To Fallen OPP Officer



    McGuinty Government Honours Hero

    TORONTO, July 7 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The bridge at Highway 11 and Highway 141 near Huntsville has been renamed
the Constable Richard Verdecchia Memorial Bridge to honour the Ontario
Provincial Police officer killed in the line of duty in January 1981.
    Constable Verdecchia was an 11-year veteran who served in Hearst
(1970-1975) and Huntsville (1975-1981) and was 37 years of age at the time of
his death. After stopping to offer assistance to a vehicle that had entered a
roadside ditch, two armed robbers took Constable Verdecchia's life.
    Dedications to fallen officers while on duty are made under The Highway
Memorials for Fallen Police Officers Act, 2002
(http://www.search.e-laws.gov.on.ca/en/isysquery/613daa6d-038f-4d1a-9eff-25a86
9a50506/1/frame/?search=browseStatutes&context=), a private member's Bill
introduced by Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci.

    QUOTES

    "Constable Verdecchia lost his life ensuring the safety of Ontarians. I
am proud to officially dedicate this bridge in his memory on behalf of the
Government of Ontario," said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley
(http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/about/minister.htm).
    "Ontario's police officers serve their communities with honour and
distinction. This bridge will be a reminder of Constable Verdecchia's
courageous sacrifice for generations to come," said Community Safety and
Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci
(http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about_min/bio.html).
    "We owe Constable Verdecchia a great deal," said Ontario Provincial
Police Commissioner Julian Fantino
(http://www.opp.ca/Organization/Commissioner/index.htm). "This bridge,
dedicated to his memory, is a daily reminder to those who cross it of the
sacrifice he made and the importance of keeping his memory alive in this
community."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    Five bridges are named after fallen officers:

    -   Constable Philip Shrive on May 26, 2005 - Bonnechere River Bridge on
        Highway 17
    -   Senior Constable Jim McFadden on December 19, 2006 - Highway 401 at
        Chatham-Kent Road 7
    -   Sergeant Margaret Eve on December 19, 2006 - Highway 40 over
        Highway 401
    -   Sergeant Rick McDonald on November 24, 2006 - Highways 17 and
        69 Interchange
    -   Constable Joe MacDonald on November 24, 2006 - Junction Creek Bridge
        (Sudbury)

    LEARN MORE

    For more information on fallen Ontario Provincial Police officers see the
Officer Down Memorial Page (http://www.odmp.org/canada/).
    Get up-to-date road condition information
(http://www.roadinfo.mto.gov.on.ca/) on major highways in the area. You can
also call the ministry's road information line at 416-235-4686, or toll-free
at 1-800-268-4686.

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For further information:

For further information: Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Minister's Office, (416)
327-1815; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158

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