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Overpass to be named in honour of murdered OPP officer from Alliston

Posted August 6, 2014

The highway overpass on Simcoe County Rd 93 at Hwy 400 is in the process of being named in memory of OPP Constable (Tom) Thomas Coffin, who was killed shortly after his shift ended, on May 31, 1997.

Tom Coffin

Pictured above, the Google Earth view of the Cty Rd 93 overpass to be named in memory of OPP Constable Thomas (Tom) Coffin, inset.

The request to honour Const. Coffin comes from Tom's widow, Kim, through Michael Adair, President of Branch 7 of the OPP Association, in a June letter to County council, asking for support.

On May 31, 1997, Tom and his friend had ended their afternoon shift and were sitting at the Commodore Hotel in Penetanguishene having a drink when at approximately 12:30 am Allen MacDonald, a former North York fire captain and former chair of the Penetanguishene Police Board, shot the 32-year-old in the head at close range. Coffin had previously arrested MacDonald on a drunk-driving charge which cost him his job. He was convicted in May 2000 and sentenced to life (25 years no parole).

"Since that day, not a day goes by that his family, friends and fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement do not miss him," Mr. Adair wrote. "We will always grieve his loss."

Tom was born in Toronto, raised in Alliston, and at 18, joined the Alliston Police Service as an auxiliary officer. At 21, he joined the Kirkland Lake Police Service, and by 26, was a member of the Penetanguishene Police Service which amalgmated with Midland OPP in 1996.

Several highway overpasses in the province are named in memory of fallen police officers.

"Part of the procedure to have this accomplished is that I must prove to the Ministry of Transportation, information that the Municipalities, in which this Structure is located, will support our efforts," wrote Mr. Adair. "This project would be totally funded by the Ontario Provincial Police Association and you would not be subject to any requests for funding."

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