Officers remember police killed in the line of duty
Nearly two dozen people, many of them officers, from across Simcoe County came together Sunday to honour police who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Police forces from across the country have been participating in the 'Run to Remember this week. The event, typically a three-day run from a memorial in Toronto to one in Ottawa, has been scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"COVID is a very fluid situation, but we're going to continue to do what we can to continue this run, to continue to pay tribute to those officers," says Barrie Police Detective Constable Sarah Bamford who has been participating for seven years. "So hopefully next year, we can get back to that norm and do that run to Ottawa."
Bamford was one of nearly two dozen who gathered at the Nottawasaga OPP Detachment, where participants held the scaled-down version for this area. The Barrie police officer was joined by OPP officers and members from Base Borden, all doing their part to remember the lives lost in the line of duty.
"We may have lost officers from various services, detachments across the country, but at the end of the day, we are one family, and we are here to support each other."
Also participating at the Simcoe event was Erin Ochakovksy, the founder of SOLE, the Survivors of Law Enforcement. Ochakovksy lost her husband, Peel Regional Police Constable James Ochakovksy, more than 10 years ago.
"In the line of duty where they go to work, you say goodbye I'll see you at the end of your shift, and they don't come home; it makes everything kind of go black," Ochakovsky says.
Ochakovksy says gatherings like this are important. While more than a decade has gone by since she lost her husband, she says the connection she has formed as the widow of a fallen officer hasn't wavered, acknowledging events like Saturdays are essential.
"Being able to tell our children that our loved ones will never be forgotten and then show them through the memorial run and through the memorials is something that I'm so grateful for because my son never has to ask what his dad did for a living and how he lost is life was for nothing," she says.
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