Retired Montreal police officer needs your help to crack a mystery

Retired police officer who taught life lesson searches for letter writer
WATCH: A retired Westmount police officer is asking the public to help him track down someone he gave some stern advice to while on patrol in 1976. As Global's Dan Spector reports, the former officer's search started with a letter he recently unearthed.

A retired Montreal police officer is asking for your help in order to track down someone he gave some stern advice to while on a routine patrol over 40 years ago.

In 1976, John Westlake was an officer with the Westmount Police. That was before they became part of the Montreal Police. He worked out of Station 12, behind Westmount City Hall.

Recently, he was going through some old photos, and he found a letter that brought him back in time.

In a child’s writing, it read: “Dear Mr. Policeman, My name is Alexander Parker and I live at 19 Thornhill Avenue. Yesterday you told me not to play soccer on the street and I didn’t do what you told me do do. I am sorry for what I did and I won’t do it again. Thank you for teaching me a lesson. Sincerely, your friend Alexander Parker. May 1, 1976.”

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Westlake remembers the run-in with the young boy 42 years ago. While patrolling on Thornhill Ave, he told him to stop playing in the street.

“The letter was delivered to the police station under my name,” Westlake recalled. “It felt good to be able to talk to a youngster who was listening.”

After re-discovering the letter, he wondered who Alexander Parker is these days. He wants to meet the boy who must now be a man in his 40s or 50s.

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“I’m just concerned how he made it out in life, how he’s doing, where he is, how’s his family,” the retired officer explained.

He posted the letter on Facebook but hasn’t had any luck. Global News did some door-to-door investigating on Parker’s old street. There was no answer at his old house, but a neighbour said a new family had recently moved in there.

The Millers have lived a few doors down from Parkers’ old home since the early 1970s, and they remembered him well.

“Alex is one of the kids who played on the street,” recalled Jerry Miller.

He and his wife said Parker doesn’t live in Montreal anymore.

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“He works in the film industry in Toronto, doing I’m not exactly sure what. He was always interested in film,” Miller said.

The Millers connected Global News with Parker’s mother, but she wasn’t willing to connect us with him.

If you know Alexander Parker, John Westlake hopes you’ll pass on his message.

“I hope you’re doing well, I’d love to meet you. You owe me a cup of coffee,” he said.