Statement by Interim Chief Steve Bell

Posted On Saturday September 28, 2019
Cst. Thomas Roberts
Cst. Thomas Roberts

This Memorial weekend our Service mourns the death of Cst. Thomas Roberts.

Thomas was 35-years-old and had joined the Ottawa Police Service as a direct entry officer from the RCMP in 2016.

He leaves behind his wife, a 9-month-old child and family in the Ottawa area.

Thomas was an intelligent, well-liked young officer who impressed his colleagues with his dedication and investigative skills.

In 2018, he was part of a team of officers who ran into a burning building and fought a fire to rescue a man. He was awarded a Chief’s Commendation for that act.

It is information like this that makes his death even harder on all of us.

His death is being investigated as a suicide.

His Robbery Unit colleagues and our entire organization are stunned by this tragedy.

Thomas’s death hits everyone in our Service including our own families, friends and loved ones.

For several years, we have worked to improve our wellness supports and services to members.

But today, we are all asking questions about why this happened and we know that we have to do more.

We have a tough job.  The difficult work of policing takes a toll on all our members.  We know that.

We are working to support his family now and in the future. They are not alone in their grief. We are all grieving with them.

We have also refocused our efforts on our membership and have put plans in place to ensure everyone knows how to access help if they need it.

Barriers, like stigma, still exist to accessing mental health services and supports. We will refocus our efforts on eliminating those barriers and ensuring people can get the help they need.

This is a hard time for our Service. We are grateful for the outpouring of support for Thomas’s family and the Ottawa Police family from Ottawa and across the country.

Contact Us