John Petropoulos was born on May 13, 1968 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He obtained his Diploma in Criminology from Mount Royal College and moved to Abbotsford, B.C. to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice in 1995. John married his girlfriend of eight years, Maryanne Pope, in July of 1996 and then fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer with the Calgary Police Service in October of that same year.
Constable John Petropoulos passed away in the line of duty on Sept. 29, 2000. John was investigating a break and enter complaint when he stepped through a false ceiling, fell nine feet into the lunchroom below and succumbed to brain injuries. There was no safety railing to warn him of the danger. He was 32.
About the Memorial Fund
After his death, several of John’s recruit classmates set up the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund (JPMF) and raised monies through the sale of memorial pins to fellow officers. Subsequent pin sales, grants, fundraisers and ongoing donations continue to sustain the Fund.
Our safety initiatives offer people tangible tips they can implement in their workplaces and on the roads to help ensure emergency responders make it home safely to their families after every shift.
The JPMF was incorporated as a non-profit society in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Dec. 29, 2005. It was officially registered as a charitable organization with the Canada Revenue Agency as of March 14, 2011. The legal name is the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund Society and the registration number is 80727 5870 RR0001.
We strive to eliminate preventable workplace fatalities and injuries to emergency responders by educating the public about its role in helping to keep these essential workers safe on the job.
Maryanne was married to John and is the Board Chair of the JPMF. Maryanne is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and also writes short stories, essays, play scripts and screenplays. She is the Founder and CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc. and lives in Sidney, B.C.
Cliff O’Brien is an Inspector with the Calgary Police Service and he also serves as a Director with the JPMF. A founding member of the Fund, he was a good friend and classmate of John’s.
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and has worked for the City of Calgary since 2007. He 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.
Kristin Atkinson, a stay-at-home mom with three children, has been friends with Maryanne for over 25 years. She has worked for the Fund as an administrative assistant for years and recently joined the JPMF’s Board of Directors. “I knew John well and am honored to have been doing part-time work with the JPMF for about the past three years,” says Kristin.
Darren, who is married with three children, has served with the Calgary Police Service for 25 years and currently holds the rank of Inspector. He has a deep connection to the JPMF and has provided guidance and advice to the Board in an informal capacity since its inception. Darren was an officer safety and tactics instructor for John Petropoulos during his recruit training, and developed a very 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. John’s death continues to propel Darren’s desire to enhance training and education in order to improve safety for all emergency responders.
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. Rui serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors.
Paul is a 15-year member with the Calgary Police Service and serves as a newly appointed Director on the Board of Directors. He has been involved with the JPMF over the past seven years and most recently arranged for John’s name – along with the other 10 fallen Calgary police officers – to be placed on a Calgary Police Service soccer team kit as a memorial tribute to those officers, representing their enduring spirit and honouring their ultimate sacrifice.
The original JPMF logo was created by Colleen Guntner, a graphic artist from Chilliwack, B.C. and a friend of John’s. The updated logo was created by Bryce Beresh, a graphic designer from Calgary. The wolf in the new logo has been reworked for a simpler, stronger graphic that increases legibility when used in smaller sizes.
The wolf is the symbol for the Memorial Fund because it represents what John stood for: leadership, loyalty, strength of character, commitment, wisdom and an enormous sense of family within “the pack” (ie, the police service). The maple leaves in both logos represent Canada, as well as the season of autumn, when John passed away.