About the JPMF
After John’s death in 2000, several of his recruit classmates (Cliff O’Brien, Glenn Laird & Joel Matthews) started the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund and raised funds through the sale of memorial pins to fellow officers. Subsequent pin sales, grants, casino proceeds, fundraisers, and ongoing donations continue to sustain the Fund. The JPMF is a registered Canadian charity (#80727 5870 RR0001).
Proceeds from the sale of Maryanne’s book, “A Widow’s Awakening,” also help support the Fund. View book trailer (1 min).
What We Do
The JPMF’s safety initiatives offer people tangible tips they can implement in their workplaces and on the roads to help ensure everyone, including emergency responders, make it home safely to their families.
The original mission of the JPMF was to raise public awareness about how people could ensure their workplaces, and the roads, were safe for everyone, including emergency responders. However, twenty years after John’s death, the statistics on workplace fatalities were shocking. Since John fell to his death in 2000, more than 20,000 Canadians have died as a result of their work – either from an injury or occupational illness. So we decided to broaden our scope to raising public awareness about workplace safety issues facing all workers.
Ultimately, we are committed to helping bring about a culture of safety in which all workers get home safely at the end of every shift. Because one fatality is one too many.
Who We Are
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Superintendent Cliff O’Brien of the Calgary Police Service is a founding member of the JPMF. Cliff was a good friend and classmate of John’s. “We will never know how many injuries or fatalities the JPMF’s safety campaigns have helped prevent,” says Cliff, “because you can’t measure what doesn’t happen. But we do know that doing something to raise awareness is better than doing nothing at all. John’s death was completely preventable, as are thousands of other workplace fatalities and serious injuries.”
Maryanne (John’s widow) has been involved with the JPMF from the beginning and is still very much involved as a volunteer. Maryanne firmly believes in the importance of continuing to raise public awareness about workplace safety issues because she knows all too well the immense personal impacts of a workplace fatality. Maryanne is the author of “A Widows Awakening.” She also writes blogs, play scripts & screenplays and is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc. Maryanne lives on Vancouver Island.
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and has worked for the City of Calgary since 2007. Aaron is currently pursuing a certificate from the University of Calgary in Occupational Health & Safety. Aaron has been an active volunteer with the JPMF since 2008 and his motto is “safety may get old, but so do those who practice it.” He and his wife Leah have two children.
Darren served with the Calgary Police Service for 29 years and now works in the Corporate Investigations Unit with Alberta Health Services. Darren was an officer safety and tactics instructor for John during his recruit training and developed a strong bond with him during the years of John’s service to the community. Darren was also the K9 officer on scene with John the night he died, so knows firsthand how easily preventable John’s death was…and how incredibly important it is that people ensure their workplace is safe for everyone, including emergency responders. Darren has three sons, working in their chosen fields, which makes workplace safety even more important to Darren.
Paul served with the Calgary Police Service for 20 years and is now the Operations Manager with E-Comm 911 for southern Vancouver Island. Paul has been involved with the JPMF for more than a decade and understands the value of using what happened to John as a powerful way of raising awareness about the importance of workplace safety for all workers, including emergency responders who put their lives on the line to ensure a safer community for everyone. Paul and his wife live on Vancouver Island.
Rui, a senior constable with the Calgary Police Service, is married with twin girls. Having been involved in a life-altering incident, Rui jumped at the chance to be involved with the JPMF and help promote its mission of workplace safety for everyone, including first responders.
Kristin Atkinson has been friends with Maryanne for over 30 years. “I knew John well,” says Krisin, “and am honored to still be part of the JPMF legacy, raising awareness about workplace safety so that what happened to John doesn’t happen to others.” Kristin is married to Jeff and has 3 children.
Harleigh has been a dedicated volunteer for the JPMF for many years. While attending University, she worked as a summer student for the JPMF and has been coordinating our volunteers for the past few years. Harleigh is also a teacher, server, and loves to travel. She lives in Vancouver.
Sarah has worked as the JPMF’s Safety Campaign Manager since 2020 but has been a long-time supporter and volunteer. Sarah is a passionate advocate for workplace safety and loves being able to create and share safety messages on social media. Sarah is married to Graham and has four daughters.
About the Logo
The wolf is the symbol for the Memorial Fund because it represents what John stood for: leadership, loyalty, strength of character, commitment, wisdom, and a strong sense of family within “the pack” (the police service). The maple leaf represents Canada, as well as the season of autumn, when John passed away.
The original JPMF logo was created by Colleen Guntner, a graphic artist from Chilliwack, BC and a friend of John’s. The updated logo was created by Bryce Beresh, a graphic designer from Calgary.