D/Insp. Chris GILPIN – Ontario Provincial Police Chris Gilpin began her policing career with the Ontario Provincial Police on June 2, 1986. She has worked in a number of detachment including Downsview (Toronto), Burlington and Brant County as a Constable and Detective Constable. She was promoted to Detective Sgt in 2003 and managed the Regional Crime Support Team in Mt Forest until she was promoted to D/S/Sgt in Criminal Investigation Branch in 2007. In 2008 she was promoted to Detective Inspector in CIB where she was a Multi-jurisdictional Major Case Manager. In November of 2014 she was promoted to Superintendent in charge of Provincial Traffic Operations, Marine and Off Road Vehicle Operations in Highway Safety Division where she managed the Provincial Program areas and deployed units. In 2015 she became a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, presented by Governor General David Johnson. Chris GILPIN retired March 31, 2020. The HARRON homicide being presented today is a case she worked on as a D/Sgt and later while a D/Insp managed as the CIB Case Manager in 2013.
Corporal Nicolas POTVIN – J Division RCMP Major Crime Corporal Nicolas POTVIN has 17 years of service with the RCMP and all of his service has been in New Brunswick. After 4 years in General Duty Policing, Nicolas transferred to the J Division Drug Section where he worked in both the St-Leonard and Saint John Federal Offices. In 2014, Nicolas returned to General Duty in Codiac (Moncton, NB) and after 11 months, he transferred to the J Division Major Crime Unit. In 2018, he promoted to the rank of Corporal as a Team Leader in Codiac. Corporal POTVIN has since returned to the J Division Major Crime Unit as Team Leader and is also the divisional coordinator for the RCMP Phased Interview Model for suspect training.
Detective Sean VERESCAK - Thunder Bay Police Detective Sean Verescak has 17 years Policing experience with the Thunder Bay Police Service. He has worked in Primary Response and the Major Crime Unit. He worked for 6 Years in the Major Crime Unit and returned to Primary Response where he was later promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He returned to Major Crime where he is today.
Detective Rick POPOWICH – Thunder Bay Police Detective Rick POPOWICH has 21 years of policing experience with the Thunder Bay Police Service. He has worked in Primary Response for 8 years and 10 years in the Intelligence Unit with the Drug and Gang Units. He has been a Detective In the Major Crime Unit for the last 4 years.
Sergeant Jim MacLachlan Jim is in his 18th year of service, all with the London Police. In 2006, as a shiny new member of the Uniformed Division, he was taught the difference between being a report taker and being a true investigator by his training officer Gary Bezaire. Jim spent 7 glorious, sleep deprived years in Major Crime as a Constable and Detective. He is currently assigned to the Professional Standards Branch.
Det. Gary Bezaire Detective Gary Bezaire – in his 23rd year with London Police Service. Spent 10 years in Major Crime. Other duties have been robbery, guns and gangs project and general patrol. Has worked on the public order unit and as a director on the London Police Association. Currently in his second year with the Human Trafficking Unit.
James Spangenberg James Spangenberg graduated from Osgoode Law School in Toronto he was called to the Bar in 1997. James joined the London Crown’s office as a full-time member in January of 2000. Over the last 23 years James has prosecuted everything from shoplifting to Murder. James has been part of a legal panel at OHIA in the past and is happy to be back.
Ron Ellis Ron has practised criminal law since 2006. Prior to that, Ron practiced civil litigation, including the prosecution and defence of professional negligence claims, at the firm of Harrison Pensa LLP. Ron has extensive trial experience - appearing at all levels of court in Ontario, including the Ontario Court of Appeal. Prior to returning to London in 2003, Ron was a professional educator in Calgary Alberta and served as Director of Student Legal Assistance at the University of Calgary Faculty of law. Ron has also worked as counsel for the London Police Service Association (LPA) representing members of the LPA in a wide variety of matters, including SIU investigations.
Retired OPP Detective Inspector Brad COLLINS: Retired Detective Inspector Collins spent 32 years with the OPP with the majority of his career in investigations. He worked in crime units, drug enforcement, anti-rackets, professional standards, forensic identification services and finally in Major Case Management. OPP Detective Staff Sergeant Melanie MEZZATESTA: Melanie is currently in her 29th year of policing with the OPP. She began her career in Lancaster in 1994, transferring to South Frontenac in 1996. Here she worked as general patrol, crime and then as a court officer. In 2012, Melanie began conducting surveillance as part of the Risk Offender Enforcement Unit. In August of 2015, Melanie became the unit commander of the Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad. During her time at the Pen Squad, Melanie was assigned as the lead in Project LINCOLN 2, and also completed various Temporary Acting Assignments within CIB. In 2022, Melanie was promoted to the rank of Detective Staff Sergeant in the Criminal Investigation Branch of the OPP, where she remains today.
Kingston Police Detective Sergeant Blair WATT: Currently in his 20th year of policing. His career began in 2003 as a Constable with the Niagara Regional Police. Blair transferred to the Kingston Police in 2009 where he worked in the patrol division until his assignment to the Criminal Investigation Division in 2012, where he worked in the General Crime Unit for three years. In 2015, Blair joined the Major Crime Unit where he investigated major cases and cold cases. Blair was the co-lead investigator for O.P.P. Project “Lincoln II”. Blair was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2019 and spent time as a supervisor in the patrol division and the court office. Blair was re-assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division in 2022.
OPP Detective Constable Jennifer BYFORD: Jenn joined the OPP in April 1994 and was stationed at the Prince Edward Detachment. She worked the road for 7 years and then transferred to the Prince Edward Crime Unit where she stayed for 20 years. During that time, Jenn was assigned as the file on Project LINCOLN 2. In July 2021 she transferred to the Child Sexual Exploitation Unit and currently works out of Kingston.
Melvin Joa Retired Detective Constable Melvin Joa began his career in 1995 with the Ontario Provincial Police after 16 years of employment as a Power Engineer in private industry. He was first posted to his hometown, Marathon, in general patrol. In 1999 he transferred to the South Bruce Kincardine Detachment. In 2001 Mel was designated as Detective Constable and was assigned to the South Bruce crime unit investigating major cases. He investigated many serious offences including several homicides which he truly loved being involved in. Mel retired in 2020.
Elizabeth Maguire is a retired Crown Attorney. After spending 2 years in private practice, she joined the crown attorney’s office where she continued to work for almost 30 years. Over the course of her career, she worked in the crown attorney’s office in Lambton County, Middlesex County, and Elgin County before finishing off her career as the Acting Crown for Huron County. She worked on many different types of cases and was a designated Wiretap agent. During this time, she worked on numerous homicides in her home offices as well as being lent out occasionally to assist other offices. One of those offices was the Guelph office where she assisted as wiretap agent on some and prosecuted on others. This case we are looking at today is one of those cases.
Staff Sergeant Tina Ryan
Tina Ryan started policing in 1996 with the Toronto Police Service. In 2001 Tina joined the Guelph Police Service and during this time she has worked in several areas from Uniform Division, Fraud Unit, Special Victims Unit, Major Case Unit and is currently the S/Sgt in charge of the 911 Communications Centre.