William (Bill) Rusk


During his career, Bill has served in various capacities, such as uniform patrol, police dog services, criminal investigations branch, drugs and intelligence, as well as specialized projects and joint force assignments. Additional training unit assignments included: use of force instructor, firearms instructor, OC instructor, ASP instructor, PPCT Spontaneous Knife Defence Instructor, and simulator instructor.

Presently, retired in 2017 after completing 30 years of policing, Bill has served with the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, as well as the Owen Sound Police Service, where he retired with the rank of Sergeant.

Bill holds two dubious policing distinctions:

  • being the only modern day police officer in Canada, who has been shot in the line of duty, with no suspect ever being arrested/charged, or even identified;
  • being married to a police officer, who was involved in their own police shooting, who subsequently developed severe-chronic PTSD which lead to their own retirement from policing.

With a strong belief in life-long learning, Bill has obtained a B.A. from York University, followed by numerous courses and diplomas throughout his career, including the Harvard Law School, Labour and Worklife Program.

During his career, Bill has been recognized twice by two separate police agencies as “Police Officer of the Year”.

Bill is the recipient of the following policing achievements:

  • 20-year and 30-year Police Exemplary Service Medal
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for commitment and service to policing field.
  • the Dennis R. Latten Award (PAO) for long standing leadership, dedication and excellence in policing.

In 1990, while involved in a criminal drug investigation, Bill was victim of gunshot wounds to the face, neck, shoulder, back and right hand that has left him with life long alterations to his physical and mental well-being.

In 2005, after several years in various police association executive positions, Bill took on the additional role as President of the Owen Sound Police Association. Over the next 10 years, Bill personally negotiated 4 collective bargaining agreements, while representing members’ involved with labour grievances, arbitration/conciliation disputes, all discipline issues including Police Service Act offences, OMERS and WSIB issues, as well as media requests on behalf of Association related activities.

During his career, Bill has been a strong advocate for recognition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a “honourable workplace injury”.  As a 15-year Association leader, Bill has participated in lobbying efforts for the introduction of “Presumptive Legislation” for all police personnel in Ontario, as well as the successful implementation of conducted energy weapons to all front-line police personnel in Ontario.

Between 2008 – 2014, Bill took on additional responsibilities by serving as a Director on the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) where he represented all 33,000 police personnel across the entire Province. During that period, Bill served as PAO Director on various organizations:

  • the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation (OPMF)
  • the Conducted Energy Weapon working group
  • a joint WSIB PTSD Working Group for the purposes of introducing “Presumptive Legislation”.

Bill is a certified traumatic stress specialist, a licensed lay worship leader with the United Church of Canada, as well as a certified police chaplain.

Bill hopes to raise the profile of Badge of Life Canada as the predominant organizational voice regarding operational stress injuries, including post-traumatic stress, and suicide prevention on behalf of all police (sworn/civilian) and correctional personnel across Canada who still struggle in silence.

Email:   bill@badgeoflifecanada.org