Joseph Burns

March 7, 1938November 24, 2018

Retired Chief of Police Bernard Burns Joseph Bernard Burns, known to friends and family as ‘Bernie’, passed away quietly at home on November 24, 2018, at the age of 80 years after a valiant battle with lung cancer.

Born in Augusta Township, Grenville County on March 7, 1938 to Alice and John Burns, Bernie is survived by his wife of 53 years, Caroline (nee LeTemplier) daughter Annette (Mark) and grandsons Pierce and Rhys Montgomery. Bernie will also be fondly remembered by his twin sister Noreen, sister Irene and brothers Ted and Pat. He is predeceased by his brothers Gerry, Bobby and sisters Jeannie, Helen and Theresa. He began his career in policing with Metro Toronto Police Department in the 1960’s, then joined the Streetsville Police Department prior to its amalgamation to Peel Region Police in 1974 where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He joined the Fergus Police Department as Chief of Police in 1978 where he remained until his retirement in 1993. In retirement Bernie served on numerous committees of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. A mass celebrating Bernie’s life will be held at 1 pm, on Saturday, December 1, at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 55 Driftwood Drive, Kitchener, ON N2N 3A2. Memorial donations in memory of Bernie can be made to JDRF Canada (


  • Funeral Mass Saturday, December 1, 2018

Joseph Burns

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Barry King

November 29, 2018

I enjoyed Bernie’s camaraderie when we worked together pre-amalgamation.. He was the first officer on the scene of the Christine Demeter homicide in the summer of 1973 and his professionalism and training were invaluable to protecting the scene and isolating Peter Demeter, establishing a relationship as he guarded the suspect overnight. Bernie was an enthusiastic golfer and continued through his retirement. I didn’t have much opportunity to see him much after regionalization but re-established contact at Chiefs conventions annually. So very sorry to learn of his passing Caroline. Pat and I offer our sincere condolences to all family members. RIP Bernie, you were one of the good ones.

Lloyd Lancaster

November 29, 2018

Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Bernie. In 1974 he was my first Sergeant when we moved to 12 Division in Streesville. We had a very tight and well run platoon, much of that because of a kind and concerned NCO...Bernie Burns. A very fair man who taught me a great deal, especially on how to treat people fairly. RIP my have earned your eternal rest.

Lloyd Lancaster
Det/Sgt, Peel Regional Police (Ret)


November 28, 2018

"Staff" Burns was an absolutely wonderful platoon Staff Sergeant at 12 Division in Streetsville during our tenure with the P.R.P.F.

Bernie had a great sense of humor and was extremely fair in the manner in which he treated his platoon members. Bernie also possessed a great investigative mind and he was always willing to share his experiences with junior officers in an effort to make them better officers.

We were both very upset to learn of Bernie's passing.

Bernie will be missed by both of us.

Our condolences to Bernie's family as our thoughts are with you at this time.

Brian J. Scott (#307)
Lynne H. LeRoy (#513)

Derek andConnie Keough

November 26, 2018

It was our great pleasure to have known Bernie. He was a true friend and a real gentleman. His smile was contagious and his personality magnetic. There were many discussions about ' the good old days' and many of the world's problems were solved over a cup of coffee.
Our deepest condolences and Prayers to Carol, Annette and family. His like, we may never meet again.
Rest in peace dear friend, you are definitely in a 'good place'.
Fondly, Derek and Connie Keough