Rosedaler named Police Officer of the Year for 2016


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Sergeant Joe Matthews and Mayor Tory

Last month, Mayor John Tory offered his personal thanks to Rosedale native Staff Sgt. Joe Matthews, who was named 2016 Police Officer of the Year.

Matthews spent 15 of his 25 years on the job living near Ramsden Park.

Joining Toronto Police Service (TPS) right out of high school, his career took many forms, from TPS Holdup Squad to TAVIS (Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy) to a year working in conjunction with the City of New York Police Department. He was recognized by the city for his actions on the night of Aug. 8, 2015, after he answered a radio call reporting gunshots at Muzik nightclub near the CNE. Upon arrival, he approached a shooting victim in a stopped taxi and administered first aid while calling for an ambulance. Staying calm amidst a hostile crowd, even after being punched in the face by one bystander, Matthews was able to reach the hospital with the critically injured victim, who survived the shooting thanks to his efforts.

Matthews is confident that any of his fellow officers would have done the same thing in his position. 

“I won the award out of opportunity, not because of me being different. That night there was about a dozen young police officers … running toward the sound of gunshots. I’m very proud of their actions.”

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Chris Suppa is a freelance writer and photographer based in Toronto. Follow him at @Suppa55 for somewhat-coherent ramblings about the Blue Jays and on Instagram at @chrissuppaphotography.

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