Ask the Chief: Abbotsford's top cop reflects on Mt. Baker climb to remember Cst. John Davidson
ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) – Two years ago, a tragedy in the Fraser Valley. Cst. John Davidson was shot as he responded to reports of a stolen vehicle, and the 53-year-old Abbotsford Police officer died in the line of duty.
In July, 18 people climbed Mt. Baker to remember the fallen officer, including Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr.
Serr, who was joined by Davidson’s three children on the climb, is our guest this week on Ask The Chief.
Why climb Mt. Baker to honour Cst. Davidson?
“One of our members had talked to John, just previously to his death, and John had indicated that one of his goals was to climb Mt. Baker. They had started some preliminary planning. Unfortunately, John never had that opportunity to make that climb. So, about eight months ago, this member approached me and asked if we would consider climbing to the top of the mountain with a group of people to honour John and to leave a coin or memento to remember him.”
What was it like to climb with his children?
“John’s children are just amazing. It’s been a privilege to get to know them and John’s wife, Denise. Denise really encourages the children to experience everything life has to offer. They did just phenomenal. Dina, John’s middle daughter, wrote a poem. As we buried the coin, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the group up there. They were just so appreciative to be with us and to share that experience. It was truly special.”
Was it an emotional journey the entire time?
“It’s quite challenging. You’re up at midnight. You’re gearing up in pitch black at one o’clock in the morning, [and then] we’re making our way up the trail. [It’s] probably a good thing because you don’t see how steep or treacherous it is. So, really it wasn’t a lot of thought going up there.”
Did you hear any new stories about Cst. Davidson?
“With the children, they shared a lot of stories of John’s sense of humour [and] how John loved the outdoors. When people were getting tired, a few of us would chatter to get people going and continue to push on. They [the children] were joking that was something John would have certainly done when he was up top.”
Will this be an annual climb?
“If you ask anyone, it’s still too early and everyone [has] still got a lot of aches and pains. It was a long trip. I think really this is just a one off. We’ve done other things to remember John, as a department.”