Police memorial service honours fallen officers


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Quigley said he has attended every year, usually part of a large contingent of Toronto officers. And while organizers, he said, were trying to keep attendance low due to the pandemic, he felt “obliged” to attend.

“I served 36 years with Toronto police and seen many of my comrades give their lives. I’ve seen the devastation on the families, and I think it’s important for us living to commemorate the dead.

“This is an annual event, and COVID wouldn’t keep us away, defunding wouldn’t keep us away.”

OTTAWA -- September 27, 2020 -- Bill Blair, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, lay a wreath at the Canadian Police and Peace Officers 43rd Annual Memorial Service that was held, Sunday, September 27, 2020. The event that normally draws thousands, went to a virtual platform due to the pandemic, with a small select few in person behind Parliament Hill at the Summer Pavilion. ASHLEY FRASER, POSTMEDIA
Bill Blair, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, lay a wreath at the Canadian Police and Peace Officers 43rd Annual Memorial Service that was held, Sunday, September 27, 2020. The event that normally draws thousands, went to a virtual platform due to the pandemic, with a small select few in person behind Parliament Hill at the Summer Pavilion. ASHLEY FRASER, POSTMEDIA Photo by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

Four more names were added to the honour roll on Sunday, including that of RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson, who died in a shooting rampage in April in Shubenacadie, N.S., and RCMP Const. Allan Poapst, who died in a traffic collision last December in Winnipeg.

“We should also remember that (Poapst) was a husband and father of three teenage daughters whose sacrifices we remember today,” said Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, who spoke at the ceremony.

Stevenson, Blair added, “gave her life to protect others during the tragic mass shooting in Nova Scotia, and her heroic actions demonstrate the dedication and bravery with which she conducted herself on a daily basis, which is a shining example of what we have come to expect from these peace and police officers across Canada.”

Brantford police Const. John Hickey, who died in 1897 as a result of injuries suffered in a trolley car derailment, was also honoured Sunday, as was RCMP Supt. Dennis Massey, who died in 2002 in Calgary after the police vehicle he was in was struck by a tanker truck.