Hundreds of first responders from across the province marched in honour of those whose lives were lost in the line of duty during the B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial Sunday in Victoria.
The 20th annual memorial service – a procession down Wharf Street to the B.C. legislature – was especially pertinent this year after two B.C. officers lost their lives.
Const. Ian Jordan of the Victoria Police Department, died in April from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while on the job in Sept. 1987. Jordan had been in a coma for more than 30 years.
Last November, Abbotsford Police Department Const. John Davidson was killed in a shootout at a shopping centre in the city. A a 24-year police veteran, Davidson was remembered for his commitment, both to the force and the community.
|Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich addresses hundreds of police officers, first responders and the public on the steps of the B.C. legislature during the 20th annual B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial Sunday. (Kristyn Anthony/News Staff)|
Davidson developed drug awareness presentations for local schools when the fentanyl crisis first surfaced, and cycled 800 km in the Cops for Cancer fundraiser, said Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich.
“Today we honour him, not just for how he died, but how he lived,” Rich said. “John is my hero. John is my example for how to live a life worth living.”
Premier John Horgan addressed hundreds of officers from the Delta, Saanich, Vancouver and Victoria police departments, as well as RCMP and the Victoria and Esquimalt fire departments gathered in the rain, to thank each officer for their service, adding he was “deeply saddened” by Jordan’s death.
|Officers from police departments across the province assembled at the B.C. legislature for the 20th Annual B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial Sunday. (Kristyn Anthony/News Staff)|
“Most of us will never know what it’s like to walk in your shoes,” Horgan said. “What you have seen stays with you… sometimes for a lifetime. For that, we are also thankful.”
Rich commended Horgan’s government for the action the NDP has taken in implementing better support for first responders, particularly for mental health.
“Each name read today represents someone like us, who dedicated themselves to protecting others,” said Rich, who will begin his retirement tomorrow.
”You matter,” he said. “Stay physically fit. Invest in your mental health. If you get hurt at work, stop and get well.”