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

Two Okanagan players join Team Canada for Womens U18 World Championships

Anne Cherkowski and Sarah Paul will join the womens World Juniors team Dec. 26

WATCH: ‘Stubborn’ fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

The building, which lit up in flames around 2 a.m., was an infamous spot to Big White locals

Warriors looking for Teddy, hoping for win

West Kelowna hosts their annual Teddy Bear Toss fundraiser Saturday night

Price for one-bedroom rentals in Kelowna jumped 10.8% from October to November

Out of 34 Canadian cities, report said Kelowna had highest monthly rent increase

Rockets drop second straight, conclude 6-game road trip Saturday in Moose Jaw

Kelowna fell short against the Regina Pats 4-3 Friday night

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Conservation officers on the hunt for North Okanagan moose poachers

Officers execute search warrant Friday morning, investigation continues

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopens after vehicle incident near Boston Bar

Initial reports of a jack-knifed semi truck had closed both directions of the highway

Kootnekoff: Accommodating religious celebrations

Employers must be mindful that not everyone celebrates holidays which are days off

Most Read