Beloved officer Const. John Davidson was gunned down by a man who opened fire in a strip mall on Nov. 6, 2017, but his memory still lives on at Thunderbird Memorial Square, in the parking lot where he was shot and also in the countless lives he touched while on and off duty.
Davidson was a 24-year police veteran who began his law enforcement career in the United Kingdom, working for the Northumbria Police from 1993 to 2005.
He was hired by the Abbotsford Police Department in March 2006, and worked in the patrol, youth squad and traffic sections.
Davidson’s memorial service on Nov. 19, 2017 was attended by thousands, who lined the streets for his funeral procession and then filled the 8,500-seat Abbotsford Centre.
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.
The trial for his killer Oscar Arfmann concluded on Oct. 10, 2019 and the 67-year-old was found guilty of first-degree murder, but the judge has agreed to a hearing on Arfmann’s mental state at the time of the killing.
A complete assessment on his mental state should be completed by Nov. 29, and a hearing on the matter will take place next year from Feb. 3 to 28.