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Toronto Region Board of Trade names
Staff Sergeant Joseph Matthews as 2016 TPS Police Officer of the Year

Broadcast time: 06:31
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Corporate Communications

The winner of the 2016 TPS Police Officer of the Year award was announced, last night, during the annual reception at the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

This award was created by the Board of Trade in 1967. Its purpose is to recognize officers of the Toronto Police Service who have made significant contributions to making Toronto one of the safest cities in the world. Each month, an officer or a group of officers is selected for Police Officer(s) of the Month, based on the following criteria: bravery, humanitarianism, superior investigative work and outstanding police skills.

The monthly winners are then re-evaluated by a panel of judges and a winner is chosen to receive the Police Officer(s) of the Year award.

This year, the winner is Staff Sergeant Joseph Matthews of Intelligence Services.

He has successfully demonstrated outstanding bravery, professionalism and dedication to duty. The professional manner with which he has conducted himself is worthy of substantial recognition, not only by their peers, but also the Toronto Police Service and the community in which he proudly serves.

On August 8, 2015, a shooting occurred at Muzik club. Two people died.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Matthews was working a paid duty when the call came over the radio. He was near Dufferin Street and British Columbia Road, right behind a stopped taxi with a shooting victim inside. He approached the passenger, who had been shot three times and was bleeding profusely. He pulled him out of the vehicle, started applying pressure, dressing the wounds, and called for an ambulance. He got a passerby to assist with first aid, to keep the victim stabilized, awaiting the ambulance.

In the time it took for the ambulance to arrive. Staff Sergeant Matthews was faced with a hostile crowd. He was on his own, in uniform. A woman approached him, yelling at him and punched him in the face. He knew that, if he arrested the woman, the victim he was treating might die. He maintained first aid while he verbally tried to deescalate tensions. The woman left the scene.

He attended the hospital with the victim, covered in the victim’s blood. The victim remained in critical, but stable, condition and survived the shooting.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Matthews was also selected as the Police Officer of the Month for August 2016.

Congratulations to this officer and to all the award winners for their continuing efforts to make Toronto a safe city.

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Constable Caroline de Kloet, Corporate Communications, for A/Superintendent Peter Callaghan, Professional Standards Support