Denise Davidson, the wife of fallen police officer Const. John Davidson, pays tribute to her husband at the plaque that was unveiled for him Tuesday during a memorial ceremony in Abbotsford. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Memorial ceremony honours B.C. police officer killed a year ago

Plaque unveiled in Abbotsford on one-year anniversary of Const. John Davidson’s death

A plaque honouring fallen Abbotsford Police officer Const. John Davidson was unveiled Tuesday on the one-year anniversary of his death.

A memorial ceremony with invited guests was held in Thunderbird Memorial Square, where the plaque is located on the Abbotsford Police Department’s (APD) Wall of Heroes.

Davidson, 53, was killed Nov. 6, 2017, when he was shot by a man who had opened fire in a strip mall on Mt. Lehman Road.

His tribute was unveiled next to one for the APD’s only other line-of-duty death – that of Const. John Goyer, who died in 2006 at the age of 40 from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) triggered by injuries he suffered while attempting to arrest a violent suspect.

Video by: Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News

During the memorial ceremony, new APD Chief Mike Serr addressed the tragic circumstances, saying officers acted with the “utmost courage” a year ago when they raced to the scene after reports came in about a man with a gun and shots being fired.

READ MORE: Abbotsford police officer killed in shootout

READ MORE: Slain Abbotsford police officer identified

“John was the first on scene and, tragically, we all know what happened next. John made the ultimate sacrifice, protecting this community,” Serr said. “We will always remember John as a hero who put others before himself.”

Serr said Davidson will also be remembered for his commitment, passion and service to the community, and as an officer who was dedicated to protecting and educating youth.

He said Davidson “truly gave of himself” through his devotion to causes such as Cops for Cancer and getting impaired drivers of the roads.

Mayor Henry Braun also addressed Davidson’s courage on the day he was killed.

“Const. Davidson was protecting lives by placing himself between the public and harm’s way. He risked his life to protect this community. That is the ultimate sacrifice. On Nov. 6, we lost a hero,” Braun said.

Davidson’s wife of 34 years, Denise, spoke about how her husband worked for 12 years with the Northumbria Police in England before coming to the APD in 2006.

She said he was known in England for having a knack for being able to talk to people and de-escalating confrontation.

When he joined the APD, carrying a gun was a “necessary evil.” But after his initial doubts, he decided he could still police the way he wanted – “with intelligence, humour and humility.”

Then came Nov. 6, 2017.

“He was always going to be first on the scene if he could. He was always going to go straight towards the perceived threat because training, experience and his conscience told him it was the right thing to do,” Denise said.

She said Davidson would balk at being called a hero, saying that he would only have been a true hero if he had brought the suspect – Oscar Arfmann, whose trial is set to begin in January – into custody with no more shots fired.

READ MORE: Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

“But then he always had a terrible habit of self-recrimination and setting impossible goals,” Denise said.

She said Davidson would be proud of the support and love shown to his family – by the APD, other agencies and the community as a whole – after his death.

“Our faith in humanity took a massive blow that day, but every act of kindness we’ve received has restored it piece by piece. Our happiness will take a little longer,” she said.

 

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr speaks during a memorial ceremony on Tuesday in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Denise Davidson, the wife of Const. John Davidson, speaks Tuesday during a memorial ceremony for her husband. Standing with her is daughter Dina (left), son Drew, and Drew’s girlfriend Ashley. The couple’s other child, daugther Fay, was unable to make the event. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News

Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News

Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo looking at closing two lanes of Front Street, adding bike lanes

City councillors to discuss $400,000 project at finance and audit committee meeting Oct. 16

Vancouver Island cancer patients get new ride to appointments

Qualicum Beach woman donates van to Freemasons’ transportation program

Nanaimo Fire Rescue reviewing potential sites for future fire stations

City’s growing population, infrastructure, traffic congestion prompting study

Nanaimo Mounties want to find owner of riding tack

English-style saddle and boots and blankets found in south Nanaimo

OPINION: The more walkable a city, the more liveable it is

New pedestrian advocacy group, Walk in Nanaimo, being formed

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Most Read