Vernon writer Andrew Maksymchuk will be signing copies of the second part of his memoir trilogy on life as an Ontario Provincial Police officer

Local pens part two of trilogy

His memoir was turning into War and Peace. So that’s when Vernon’s Andrew Maksymchuk decided to make a trilogy

His memoir was turning into War and Peace.

So that’s when Vernon’s Andrew Maksymchuk decided to make a trilogy, outlining his life as an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer.

Part two of the trilogy, TRU: Tactics and Rescue Unit…The Last Resort in Policing, is now available at Bookland, Chapters and online.

“When I was writing the first book, From Muskeg to Murder, I was writing about my family history and then my career, and it was getting quite long, so I stopped,” said Maksymchuk, who turns 69 next month. “I decided to write a trilogy.”

Born in Enderby, Maksymchuk grew up in Grindrod, then moved to Vernon at age 15, graduating from Vernon High School in Polson Park.

He attended one year of Grade 13, or first-year university, in Salmon Arm, then he and buddy Ken Dase decided to drive across Canada to “see what’s there before going back to school.”

That was the plan, though it never really happened.

The pair ended up in Hamilton working for the Firestone tire company, a job Maksymchuk hated. Dase ended up getting a job with Eatons in Hamilton, and was later transferred to the Vernon Eatons department store. Maksymchuk stayed in Hamilton.

“I ended up spotting these police officers in good-looking uniforms and shiny cars, so I put in my application,” said Maksymchuk on how he started with the OPP, which was on a big hiring kick back then.

After nine days of training – it would have been 10, said Maksymchuk, had the 10th day not fallen on Good Friday, so recruits were given the day off so they didn’t have to be paid for the holiday – Maksymchuk was assigned to his first posting in Kenora, Ont.

His latest book, TRU, focuses on his pioneering of the special unit.

“The idea for TRU started in Los Angeles with a SWAT team in about 1968,” said Maksymchuk. “New York City also was developing a hostage negotiation tactical unit as well.”

The need for such a unit in Ontario was borne from an incident in London following a store robbery. Two officers were going door-to-door looking for suspects when they were taken hostage.

The police, said Maksymchuk, handled the situation poorly, and something had to be done so officers could respond to such a situation. That was one of the reasons TRU was formed, and Maksymchuk was one of the first volunteers for the special unit.

A second reason for the unit to be formed was the upcoming 1976 Montreal Olympics, the first Games after the Munich Massacre in 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes and officials were murdered in the Olympic village.

“Canada was the first country to host an Olympics after the massacre, and I was in charge of one of the tactical teams,” said Maksymchuk. He and the OPP TRU squad were assigned to the sailing competition which was held on Lake Ontario in Kingston. There were no terrorist attacks there or in Montreal.

Maksymchuk’s book touches on that incident, how TRU was formed and how it remains active today.

He just came back from a five-week book tour of Ontario that was well received. The tour launched in Collingwood, a town of 10,000.

“One of the chapters in the book deals with the shooting death of a police sergeant in Collingwood,” said Maksymchuk. “I was in charge of a five-man team that captured the suspect. I wanted to launch the book there as a tribute to the sergeant.”

Maksymchuk, who is working on his third and final installment of his memoir trilogy, will be at Bookland today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to sign copies of TRU.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Federal minister to speak in Vernon

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

Vernon PAC takes stand against dating violence

KSS to host presentation to equip parents with tools to spot unhealthy, violent relationships

VIDEO: Vernon man says stranger breaks in while family slept

Resident shares doorbell cam footage in hopes to ID suspect who raided his home and fridge

Two-car collision in busy Vernon intersection

Firefighters, RCMP and ambulance are on scene

VIDEO: Protesters set up beside Vernon highway

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP responds to countrywide blockades

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Trans-Canada Highway closed between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Drive BC reports the closure is the result of a vehicle incident.

Most Read