Several Huntsville OPP officers’ wives are set to receive awards tomorrow for exemplary service. They’re being recognized for their role in getting officers outfitted with body armour. This after two gunmen fatally wounded on-duty Huntsville OPP officer Richard Verdecchia on January 2nd 1981.

Following his funeral, they met to plan how they could seek changes. To make it happen, they each contributed $20 from their grocery money to cover the expenses involved in having petitions signed to request mandatory changes to legislation. Their goal was to have all officers outfitted with body armour and to lobby for two-officer patrols. They also aimed to get capital punishment reinstated.

In 1981 Ontario’s Premier announced soft body armour would be available to more than 4,000 OPP members fully paid for by the government. In addition, the government was willing to cover 50 percent of the costs associated with outfitting municipal police services throughout the Province.

Being recognized Friday at the Barrie Golf and Country Club are: Fran Coleman, Pat Dunn, Nicole Dutkiewicz, Judy Jelly, Linda Klodnicki, Mary Jane McCarey, Diane Noon, Rita Ottema, Kathy Petrina, Sandy Rachky, Marlene Robinson, Heather Rothman, Eleanor Simmons, Irena Van hoof, Isabel Watson and Joyce Wilson.