Police have confirmed that the officer killed in Monday’s shooting in Abbotsford is Const. John Davidson, a 24-year police veteran.
At a press conference Tuesday, Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich described Davidson as a hard-working and dedicated officer who was a “hero” in the way he confronted a shooter Monday.
Earlier in the day, Const. Ian MacDonald said Davidson’s loss has been devastating to the department. He said Davidson was a dedicated police officer who devoted much of his time to “connecting with the community and helping kids.”
“He was the type of person you would want policing in your community. He was passionate. He was compassionate. He was willing to put himself if harm’s way and equally willing to extend his hand to help anyone,” MacDonald said.
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun described Davidson as a “beloved family man” whose death is being grieved by fellow officers trying to come to grips with the loss.
“Our community is grieving the loss of a police officer who gave up his life to save others,” Braun said.
The Abbotsford school district is flying its flags at half-mast today (Tuesday) to “honour and recognize the sacrifice, bravery and service” of Davidson, said board of education chair Shirley Wilson in a written statement.
“In addition to this officer being a hero in our community, Const. Davidson was also a respected former school liasion officer with our district,” she said.
Davidson began his law enforcement career in the United Kingdom, working for the Northumbria Police from 1993 to 2005.
On March 3, 2006, he was hired by the Abbotsford Police Department. He worked in the patrol, youth squad and traffic sections.
Recently, he completed the Tour de Valley Cops for Cancer ride.
Davidson’s many honours over the years include being named on a few occasions as a member of “Alexa’s Team” – officers who work to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road.
The team is named for Alexa Middelaer, who was killed by an impaired driver in 2008 when she was four years old.
Officers must complete a minimum of 12 impaired-driving investigations in a year to make the team, but Davidson was recognized as an “All Star” in 2016 and 2017 for conducting more than 25 such investigations.
In 2011, Davidson was a school liaison officer who developed the road safety portion of a program titled Youth at Risk, in partnership with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.
Davidson was concerned about the number of serious and fatal car crashes that had involved teens in the community, particularly in 2008 and 2009.
In 2012, Davidson worked with Const. Carrie Durocher to make and present Operation X, an 18-minute awareness video that detailed the tragic ecstasy-related deaths of two youths.
The pair won a provincial Crime Prevention Award for their work.
Davidson also co-ordinated the Junior Police Academy in previous years.
He is survived by his wife and three grown children.
Davidson is the second APD officer to die in the line of duty. Const. John Goyer died in 2006 at the age of 40 from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), which was triggered by injuries he suffered while attempting to arrest a suspect who became violent.