You could call him enforcer of the year.
An OPP officer in Prince Edward County, Ont., was recently recognized for his efforts in traffic safety.
Provincial Const. Tony Merrall was presented with the OPP’s 2020 Accolade Award for Enforcement, and the Commissioner of the OPP says this is one of the most prestigious awards they hand out.
“There’s not a single thing that causes more injury or deaths in our province than motor vehicle collisions,” says OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique.
Merrall has spent the last 14 years as a provincial police officer following a 28-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces.
He credits his detachment commander for the recognition and the nomination.
“Other people put some input into it, but he did a lot of hard work on promoting what I’ve done,” says Merrall. “I’m really happy he put in that effort.”
Const. Merrall is receiving this award for his enforcement that took place in 2018 and 2019.
In that time, he stopped 3,568 vehicles for various Highway Traffic Act Violations.
These stops resulted in 2,374 provincial offence notices — 1,956 for speeding, 93 for no seatbelt and 14 for distracted driving.
He also initiated 280 R.I.D.E. programs, which removed nine impaired drivers from the roads.
“In 2018 and 2019, Tony Merrall was the number one officer in Eastern Ontario for traffic stops and charges,” says St. Sgt. John Hatch of the Prince Edward County OPP. “And in those two years, he was also in the top three in the province.”
Even with all those traffic stops, the detachment commander says not one member of the public ever lodged a complaint against Merrall.
In fact, they did quite the opposite and even took to the time to send in letters complimenting Merrall on his conduct.
“I had about a half a dozen letters showing their appreciation for how compassionate Tony was with them, how caring he was and how professional he was,” says Hatch.
This award comes as Merrall announces his retirement from the force effective Jan. 30, 2022.
“We are all sad to see Tony go and leave the detachment,” says Hatch.
“But I do know a lot of motorists in Prince Edward County that are going to be happy that Tony is retiring.”