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Police announce details for slain officer's funeral in Barrie

OPP Const. Grzegorz (Greg) Pierzchala shot and killed last week near Hagersville; Funeral to begin at 11 a.m., Wednesday, at Sadlon Arena
Const. Grzegorz (Greg) Pierzchala, who hailed from Barrie, was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 27, 2022.

Barrie police have released information about road closures in the city for Wednesday's funeral for slain Ontario Provincial Police officer Const. Grzegorz (Greg) Pierzchala, who was shot and killed last week near Hagersville, Ont. 

Pierzchala, 28, was born in Toronto, but grew up in Barrie, attending St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School. He had been with OPP for just more than a year and had been notified he had passed his 10-month probation period just hours before his death. 

A private visitation, for police officers, invited friends and family only, will take place at Adams Funeral Home on St. Vincent Street in Barrie, on Tuesday, Jan. 3 from 4-8 p.m. Pierzchala's private funeral service, by invitation only, will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. at Sadlon Arena, located at 555 Bayview Dr.

Barrie police will be closing the following roads on Jan. 4:

  • Bayview Drive from Big Bay Point Road to Churchill Drive will be closed beginning at 5 a.m. This road is expected to reopen at approximately 10 a.m.
    • Churchill Drive will be closed at Welham Road, with local traffic access only.
  • Bayview Drive from Churchill Drive to Mapleview Drive will be closed commencing at 8 a.m. This road is expected to reopen at approximately 4 p.m.
  • Harvie Road/Big Bay Point Road will be closed from Veterans Drive to Bayview Drive starting at 5 a.m. These roads are expected to reopen at approximately 10 a.m. (Note: Harvie Road becomes Big Bay Point Road at Fairview Road.)
    • Fairview Road will be closed at Little Avenue, with local traffic access only.

Members of the OPP Provincial Liaison Team (PLT) are attending area businesses to advise of these closures.

On the morning of Dec. 30, a procession of police vehicles carrying Pierzchala's body left the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto and travelled north on Highway 400 to Barrie, where mourners and those paying their respects stood at each of the city’s overpass bridges. The procession left Highway 400 at Duckworth Street to take Pierzchala to Adams Funeral Home. 

Wednesday’s funeral at Sadlon Arena is to take place from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., followed by the funeral mass at Holy Spirit Parish on Essa Road from 2-3 p.m., and Interment 3:30-4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery on Sunnidale Road. 

The Dog Off-Leash Recreation Area (DOLRA), located behind Sadlon Arena at 555 Bayview Dr., will be closed during this time. Pet owners are encouraged to click here for the location and details specific to the Sunnidale Park site.

Barrie police are asking the public to reconsider any potential travel plans into the identified area on Wednesday. If there are any changes to the road reopening time, city police say these will be posted on the Barrie Police Service Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Court documents show both Randall McKenzie, 25, and Brandi Crystal Lyn Stewart-Sperry, 30, are facing a charge of first-degree murder in Pierzchala's death.

Police say Pierzchala responded to a call for a vehicle in a ditch just west of Hagersville on the afternoon of Dec. 27 and was shot dead when he got there.

The OPP has said Pierzchala had been with force for just over a year and he had been notified that he had passed his 10-month probation period hours before his death. They added he was previously a special constable at Queen's Park who, as a boy, dreamt of joining the police ranks.

This will mark the second police funeral in Barrie in the last few months. On Oct. 11, South Simcoe police officers Const. Devon Northrup and Const. Morgan Russell were shot and killed while responding to a disturbance at a home in the area of 25th Sideroad and 9th Line in the town of Innisfil. The two officers were shot inside the home, according to police, and the suspect was later pronounced deceased following an "interaction" with police. Their funeral was attended by thousands of officers from around North America.

— With files from Canadian Press