Police officers and their supporters gathered at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg on Sunday to honor those lost in the line of duty.
The public ceremony, hosted by the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police, was part of National Police and Peace Officers Memorial Day, an annual event designed to formally express their appreciation for the work officers do. to keep communities safe.
Participants paid tribute to two police officers who died this year in Ontario and Saskatchewan.
âThey deserve thought and dialogue, and it is good to be here in person to remember them. We will not forget them, âsaid Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth, who is also MACP President.
“This museum is a place of reflection. And really, that is the purpose of the memorial, it is to reflect on the stories of those who came before us and who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
In July, Toronto police officer Jeffrey Northrup died in hospital after being struck by a vehicle in the City Hall parking lot. Investigators called the incident an “intentional and deliberate act”.
The previous month, RCMP Constable Shelby Patton died after being struck by a stolen truck during an attempted check in the town of Wolseley, Saskatchewan.
Not all sacrifices are made by those on the front lines, said Jeremy Cull of the Manitoba Police Association.
âI would also like to pay tribute to our unsung heroes – our spouses, children, parents and siblings,â he said.
“Without the unwavering support of our families, we would not be able to shoulder the brunt of the physical and emotional demands that come with serving the public.”
âA strong family like this is here today,â Cull said, referring to Const’s family. Allan Poapst, who died while on duty two years ago.
The 49-year-old Manitoba RCMP officer died when his police vehicle was struck by a pickup truck on the ring road in December 2019.
âYou are in our thoughts and your strength is felt by everyone,â Cull said.
Speakers at the memorial acknowledged that police have come under increased scrutiny in recent years.
âAs we reflect on these challenges, it is imperative that we reflect on the police and peace officers who have faced the challenges of their time. May we honor those who came before us and gave their lives to maintain peace and order in our communities, âsays Smyth.
Over 20 years ago, the federal government declared the last Sunday in September to be National Police and Peace Officers Memorial Day.
In the past two years, local services have been interrupted due to COVID-19.
This year, the Winnipeg service runs alongside a national memorial in Ottawa.