Recognizing Service to Reserves

52 Division
Office of the Chief
A veteran Toronto Police officer has been recognized with the Canadian Forces’ Long Service Medal for his work mentoring young people.

Sgt. Doug Surphlis, who joined the Service in 1987, was presented with the medal at police headquarters on March 2.

The honour is bestowed on officers and Non-Commissioned Members of the Canadian Forces who have completed 12 years of service.

Surphlis has 14 years of service as a Canadian Armed Forces Reserves Cadet Instructor Cadre Officer.

Chief James Ramer commended Surphlis for exemplifying the best qualities of the Service and policing.

“Connecting with compassion is one of the core values of the Toronto Police Service,” he said. “Now, more than ever, young people in our city need positive role models and a sense of direction and safety. Thank you for your commitment and for continuing your family’s legacy of service to our city and our country.”

Cadet Corps Commanding Officer Mike Simonyi made the presentation.

“I met Doug about a decade ago at Fort York and he has been amazing,” he said.

As a Cadet Instructor, Surphlis has relished the opportunity to work with young people.

“In my experiences as a police officer in uniform and with detective branches, I met a lot of youth who were experiencing challenges,” he pointed out. “I wanted to give my time to a youth organization I felt would allow my skills and experiences as a police officer to help these troubled young people find their sanctuary from the storm.”

For that reason, Surphlis enlisted with Cadet Organization Administration and Training Services (COATS) that is a sub-component of the Canadian Forces Reserves.

“I believe this youth program suited me in many ways,” he said. “It allowed me to not only provide adult leadership to youths but also serve my country in the best way I could at 46 years of age and to continue the military service tradition my family has proudly done since 1915.”

Man in police uniform at podium
Chief James Ramer speaks about the work of Surphlis in the Canadian Armed Forces Photo: Kevin Masterman

Surphlis’ father, Charles Surphlis, was a Sergeant with Royal Regiment of Canada. He was among the nearly 5,000 Canadians that took part in the Dieppe raid in 1942. More than 900 Canadians lost their lives.

Of the 554 Royal Regiment of Canada soldiers landing on the beach at Puys, a total of 227 died in battle or later from wounds and 264 were taken prisoner, including Surphlis who almost drowned during the landing. They endured three years of captivity before being liberated in 1945.

On his return home, Charles Surphlis joined Toronto Police Service in 1945 and served for 40 years before retiring in 1985 as a Staff Inspector.

Surphlis joined the Canadian Cadets Organization as a Civilian Volunteer with the #2736 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (RCACC) attached to the Royal Regiment of Canada at Fort York Armoury.

He received his Second Lieutenant Commission in December 2007 and, four years later, was offered an opportunity to rebuild another cadet Corps that was in decline and needed new leadership.

“At #2754 RCACC-32 Service Corps, myself and a new group of dedicated officers were involved mainly with recruitment and administration,” said Surphlis. “We provided exciting new weekend exercises around the province and youth programs in drill and shooting competitions as well as expedition skills that gave youth the confidence they lacked prior to joining the RCACC.”

The #2754 grew to a compliment of over 150 cadets.

In 2017, Surphlis returned to the #2736 RCACC where he is a Recruitment & Standards officer.

He qualified for the Canadian Decorated Medal in 2019.

“This is a great honour and I am so proud to wear this medal,” he added.

Toronto Police Military Veterans Association (TPMVA) President Dana Gidlow, Inspector Tyrone Hilton who served in Afghanistan between May 2013 and March 2014 and 96-year-old Jack Reid who joined Toronto Police at age 16 and took part in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II, were among those who took part in the ceremony.

Two men in military uniform
Cadet Corps Commanding Officer Mike Simonyi pins the medal on Sergeant Doug Surphlis Photo: Kevin Masterman

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