Abbotsford couple petitioning to rename street after fallen hero
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 5:19PM PST
Last Updated Monday, November 13, 2017 7:03PM PST
An Abbotsford couple has started a petition to rename a local street in memory of a respected police offer who was killed in the line of duty last week.
"We are petitioning Mayor Henry Braun and the Abbotsford City Council to rename Automall Drive to Const. John Davidson Way," wrote Lana Kirk, who came up with the idea for the petition with her husband, Sam Kirk.
Davidson, 53, was gunned down on the morning of Nov. 6 as he responded to a call about a stolen vehicle near the Fraser Valley Auto Mall.
The stolen vehicle was apprehended a few blocks away and a 65-year-old Alberta man named Oscar Arfmann was arrested and charged in connection with Davidson's death.
In an interview with CTV News, the Kirks said the petition is a small gesture intended to remind people of the massive sacrifice Davidson made trying to keep his community safe that day.
"I just want to say thank you," Sam said. "This man was just an unbelievable part of the community."
By Monday afternoon, the petition had more than 14,700 signatures.
Davidson served for 24 years, starting as an officer in the U.K. with the Northumbria police.
During the course of his career, he was repeatedly honoured for his work in getting impaired drivers off the roads. Davidson also won a provincial crime award for a presentation he toured around high schools warning teenagers about the dangers of ecstasy.
On Thursday, first responders and civilians across the Lower Mainland waited by the roadside to pay their respects as a motorcade transported the constable's body from the Vancouver General Hospital back to Abbotsford.
The outpouring of grief and gratitude continued Monday as community members gathered at the Mt. Lehman Centre for a candlelight vigil in Davidson's memory organized by volunteers.
"Thank you for what you did," Sam said. "You saved lives. It could have been the life of someone I loved."
An elaborate funeral service is scheduled for on Nov. 19.
The procession will begin at 11:30 a.m. along McCallum Road and head south from MacDougal Avenue.
At 1 p.m. a public ceremony will be held at the Abbotsford Centre.
Overflow seating will be available at the nearby Envision Athletic Centre and Central Heights Church.
The Abbotsford Police Department has also set up an online fundraiser for Davidson's family.
By Monday evening, it had raised more than $135,000.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s David Molko