ABBOTSFORD Police Chief Constable Mike Serr’s speech at Constable John Davidson’s memorial plaque unveiling on Tuesday:
One year ago today when the call came in of a man with a gun and shots fired our officers acted with the utmost courage and raced to the scene.
As the public was trying to find places of safety after shots had been fired the Abbotsford Police Department moved in.
John was first on scene and tragically we all know what happened next.
John made the ultimate sacrifice protecting this community.
We will all remember John as a hero who put others before himself
I also want to remember John for his commitment, his compassion and his service to this community.
Please do not walk past the plaques of our 2 fallen officers with sadness.
I ask that you remember them as heroes in life.
I want you to remember Constable John Davidson as a dedicated officer who was committed to protecting and educating youth from the dangers of drugs.
Who was committed to enriching the lives of our youth in this community every day – He made a difference, one youth at a time.
The following is an excerpt from an email sent to the Davidson family shortly after John passed away:
“I remember in my grad year, 3 months from graduation I got into some serious trouble and was facing criminal charges.
“I came to school and Davidson tells me I am in some serious trouble. He told me that his Sergeant was breathing down his neck telling him that he needs to find out what happened and to bring more charges against.
“Davidson being Davidson simply told me, “hey man look, I don’t want to get you into more trouble than you already are but you need to tell me what happened.”
“That’s exactly what I did. I know he tried his hardest to help me out but eventually what I had done was not something that would go away and I was punished for it.
“Just looking back at that moment in time, my parents, my teachers, my principals, every single adult in my life had turned their backs on me and the only person that stood there beside me trying to help and support me was Davidson. I will never forget that day in my life”.
And this from a local high school principal:
“I got to see firsthand, on a daily basis, the significant impact John had on the lives of youth in Abbotsford.
“John just knew how to connect with people and he certainly knew how to connect with kids.
“He never talked down to students. Rather, he provided no-nonsense advice and always extended a sincere and genuine respect and understanding of the challenges youth face.
“Youth would actually seek him out and felt “heard” and valued in his presence. It was truly amazing to watch.”
There were many more wonderful emails highlighting the impact John had on the lives of people in this community.
I want you to remember that John lived up to our APD value of Service.
As a member of Cops for Cancer in 2017 he passionately gave of himself to support a cause and help raise money for childhood cancer and to support families.
My last conversation with John was shortly after the ride and he told me how honoured and humbled he was to have been part of this amazing journey.
John truly gave of himself.
John took on things that he was passionate about and did so to make a positive difference.
John committed to ridding our streets of impaired drivers and in 2017 he was recognized as an Alexa Team All-Star which is an anti-impaired driving program. That year he took 28 impaired drivers off our roads.
I want you to remember John as dedicated father, husband, son and brother who was devoted to his amazing family who we are so fortunate to have gotten to know and who will always be part of the AbbyPD family.
Also as you walk by our fallen heroes I want you to remember that we are never alone in this journey.
There is strength in community.
Last year we saw as all our brothers and sisters from the first responder’s family supported the Davidsons and each and every one of us when we needed them most.
That Abbotsford and communities all across this Province and Canada were all there to provide incredible support to the Davidson’s and our AbbyPD family.
We are not alone.
We are a proud department.
We are a strong department.
We will never forget our fallen brother Constable John Davidson.