Monday night, our City was struck by a terrible tragedy - the loss of one of our police officers and the injury of another in the line of duty.
These two men were providing a service to the City that we too often take for granted. Their sacrifice is a stark reminder that while we live in a City that is largely safe and welcoming, there is a very human cost to maintaining that safety.
I would like to offer my most heartfelt condolences to the family and colleagues of Constable Daniel Woodall. I can only imagine the sorrow that those close to the officer must be going through, but I hope that they know that Edmontonians stand with them in their struggle.
I also offer my support and thanks to Sgt. Jason Harley and his family, as he recovers from injuries sustained in Monday’s incident. Our thanks and well wishes are with you, as they are with all of the first responders who stepped in to address a difficult and volatile situation.
Constable Daniel Woodall had served for 8 years with the Edmonton Police Service, most recently as a part of the two-member Hate Crimes Unit, which was established in 2003 to advocate for the safety of visible minority communities in our City. While I never had the opportunity to meet Constable Woodall, by all reports he was a stalwart defender of diversity and our vulnerable communities.
A Commitment to Pride in Our Communities
Edmonton wouldn’t be where it is today without people that step up and take on those who target certain groups out of hate. Being able to be who you are without fear of discrimination and harassment is integral to a positive sense of community, and it is that feeling that Constable Woodall’s work with the police service sought to provide to all Edmontonians.
In reflecting on Monday’s tragedy, I was reminded that a few short days ago, I was able to participate in Edmonton’s 35th Pride Parade, an event that palpably demonstrated the values that Constable Woodall stood for in his work with EPS. EPS joined the Pride Parade several years ago, and their presence was strongly felt and appreciated at Saturday's event.
I had the opportunity to meet and chat with many wonderful Edmontonians who had come out to express their love and their support for one another in a positive, uplifting way. Edmonton has made a lot of progress in supporting diversity and inclusion, and it is the work of people like Constable Woodall that make that progress real in our City, not just for a day or a week, but every day of the year.
I know that the same community pride which brought us together Saturday will lift up our hearts in this difficult time. As the mayor mentioned in his address yesterday, if you know a police officer or the family of an officer, please take the time to offer them your thanks and support today, and for many days after that. They exemplify what is the best in us everyday, and our pride in their efforts and their sacrifice must be reflected in the pride we feel in our city.