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

Universal childcare prototype off to a good start

Kelowna’s Little Scholars seeing positive results from B.C government’s $10-a-day project

Kelowna raises $177,000 for BC Cancer Foundation

Luncheon supports patient and family emergency services for Southern Interior B.C. residents

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Expert to speak on extinction of species and humanity’s peril in Kelowna

UBCO will host Conservation ecologist Corey Bradshaw Nov. 20

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

B.C. referendum ballot count jumps to 18% returned, Elections B.C. says

New count adds ballots received, but not screened for authenticity

Dead killer whale discovered on Nootka Island

“This is very concerning to our people.”

VIDEO: Protected bighorn sheep killed in B.C. Interior

The sheep are considered a species of concern because of their low population in B.C.

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Most Read