Edmontonians, Canadian police officers line streets to say farewell to fallen EPS officers
Community members and police services from across the country gathered on Monday to mourn two Edmonton Police Service officers killed in the line of duty earlier this month.
The procession route from the Alberta legislature to Rogers Place was lined with supporters showing their respect ahead of the regimental funeral for constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan.
At least 35 first responders, government agencies, military and law enforcement services participated in the procession and regimental funeral, according to EPS.
An Edmonton teacher, Sophia, and her two children watched as the long column of officers passed through the legislature grounds. They proudly held a sign that read, "Thank you for your service."
As a teacher, Sophia says she sees first-hand the impact that school resource officers and EPS members make on a daily basis. She brought her sons to witness the procession and see the mix of officers and service members.
Edmonton teacher Sophia and her two sons watch the procession of law enforcement and government agencies toward Rogers Place on Monday, March 27, 2023 (CTV News Edmonton/Matt Marshall).
"I think it's really important to see the vast number of people who put their lives at risk every single day to make sure that we are safe in this community and people are taken care of," she told CTV News Edmonton.
'AN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TIME'
Toronto Chief of Police Myron Demkiw marched in the procession alongside fellow police officers from across the country.
"We are here to pay respect," Demkiw said. "It's an incredibly difficult time in policing right now."
"Regrettably, in the last year, we've seen too many police funerals, and as I look around today on this parade square, I can see uniforms from all over our great country," he added.
"[This] brings us together in a way, unlike any other event, quite frankly: the grief, the sorrow and the healing that we will embark on in the coming days, weeks and months."
A blue ribbon is wrapped on a light post along the processional route to the regimental funeral on Monday, March 27, 2023 (CTV News Edmonton/Dave Mitchell).
'BEST WISHES FORWARD'
A father of one of the police members marching watched the solemn procession downtown.
Kevin told CTV News Edmonton it was both a proud and difficult moment as he saw Brian, his son, march by. Brian's girlfriend, Alexa, is also a police officer.
"I'm very proud of them and what they do," Kevin explained. "On the other hand, it's scary.
"We need to show our support more," he added. "Everything they do for our communities and keeping us safe."
"We are here to put our support forward and grieve as a family and just put all our best wishes forward."
- Ahead of Edmonton officers' funeral Monday, families thank Canadians for 'incredible outpouring of support'
Police salute during the procession for Edmonton Police Service constables Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan in Edmonton, Monday, March 27, 2023 (The Canadian Press/Jason Franson).
Christine, whose husband is an RCMP officer, was outside Rogers Place. She described the 11 days since the fatal shooting of the EPS constables as incredibly emotional.
"It's hard for me as a spouse who has gone through worrying nights of not knowing what is happening," she said. "I also have friends who are members working night shifts, you never know what they are going to be responding to.
"I can't imagine what those wives are going through – and family members."
RCMP members wait to proceed into Rogers Place ahead of the regimental funeral and celebration of life for two fallen EPS officers on Monday, March 27, 2023 (CTV News Edmonton/Dave Mitchell).
'A DAY OF COMING TOGETHER'
Retired Canadian Armed Forces signal corps member Walter Sinclair said he attended the procession because he knows how important it is for grieving families to be supported by their community.
"Anyone that serves in any capacity, in policing or the military, we have to support," Sinclair said. "We have to come forward."
"It's a disheartening time," he added. "There's a lot of pain. But there's comfort in coming together."
Dan Jones, criminologist and retired EPS inspector, joined CTV News Edmonton's coverage of the procession and recalled participating in Const. Daniel Woodall's regimental funeral eight years ago.
Like the 2015 funeral, he described Monday's commemoration as sobering and beautiful.
"It's a day of coming together," Jones said. "It's really nice to see the city wrapping around the police again."
"It's cold out today," he added, "[but Edmontonians] are making sure they are showing their support for the brave men and women of the Edmonton Police Service."
Agencies that participated in the funeral march included:
- Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services
- Alberta Health Services Protective Services
- Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Services
- Alberta Correctional Services
- Alberta Sheriffs
- Blood Tribe Police Service
- British Columbia Sheriff Service
- Calgary Police Service
- Camrose Police Service
- Canadian Armed Forces
- Canadian Air Force Military Police Group
- City of Calgary Emergency Management Agency
- City of Edmonton Bylaw Services
- City of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services
- CN Police Service
- Correctional Services of Canada
- CP Police Service
- Durham Regional Police Service
- Edmonton Police Service Veterans’ Association
- Fredericton Police Force
- Greater Sudbury Police Service
- Halifax Regional Police
- Lacombe Police Service
- Le Service de Police de Laval
- Medicine Hat Police Service
- New York State Police
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Ottawa Police Service
- Peel Regional Police
- Police Association of Ontario
- Prince Albert Police Service
- Red Deer Emergency Services
- Saanich Police Department
- Saskatoon Police Service
- Springfield Police Service
- St. Albert Fire Service
- St. Paul Fire Department
- Summerside Police Service
- Sûreté du Québec
- Taber Police Service
- Toronto Police Service
- Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service
- Vancouver Police Department
- Victoria Police Department
- Waterloo Regional Police Service
- Winnipeg Police Service
- York Regional Police
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Carmen Leibel and Erin Isfeld
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