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

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

Prime minister rides horseback with Chief Joe Alphonse, TNG Chairman, to Xeni Gwet’in meeting place

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Rain, snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

B.C.’s Interior set to get hit with snow while the Lower Mainland is expected to see more rain

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Canfor to buy 70 per cent stake in Swedish Vida Group for $580 million

The privately held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.

Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi’s killing

Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor is recommending the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and carrying out the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Mixing business and family: Trudeau turns to Singapore ancestors to widen trade

Trudeau’s ancestor, Esther Bernard, born Farquhar (1796-1838) was the daughter of Major-General William Farquhar (1774-1839), the first British Resident and Commandant of Singapore.

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Most Read