On November 6 2017, Constable John Davidson, of the Abbotsford Police, was shot and killed in the line of duty. The family was devastated, the Abbotsford Police Department was shocked, and the law enforcement community felt the loss of another officer killed protecting his community. This tragedy was caught on tape and played on all sorts of media across Canada and the USA. Other agencies attended Abbotsford Police Department to assist them through this trying time and help them police their city. During the week, the Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Ribbon Society received many requests for Ribbons, and sent messages of condolence to the family of John Davidson. It was clear that not only the community of Abbotsford was rallying around the family, but all Canadians were doing the same.
It was at this time that the Society’s vice-president Ross Gulkison approached a number of corporations in an effort to turn their lights ‘blue’ to show support for John Davidson and the ‘thin blue line’. Ross approached John Daly of CKNW who loved the idea and spoke about it on his radio show. Through his show, more corporations joined in and changed their lights to blue on the night before John Davidson’s funeral. Lights at BC Place, Rogers Arena, City Hall, and many other landmarks and cities across Canada switched to ‘blue’ for the night. It was an amazing sight and showed the family, Abbotsford Police and the law enforcement community that we, Canadians, support you.
Photography artist Mado El Khouly took a photo of the Vancouver waterfront with all of the ‘blue lights’ and posted it on the Internet. Of all the photos, in our opinion, his was the best. We contacted Mado and he gave us permission to use his photo as a tribute. We called it ‘Blue Lights’, for obvious reasons. We presented a framed print of the photo to the family of John Davidson and Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich. We also thought it important to thank John Daly for his part in promoting this show of support.
If you wish to purchase a copy of the Blue Lights poster, they will be for sale in the next few weeks on the Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Ribbon Society website store (www.memorialribbon.org).
The photos below show Ross Gulkison at the CKNW offices, with Executive Producer John O’Dowd, presenting John Daly a framed print of this photo, in appreciation for all his successful work in getting the word out about switching to ‘blue lights’ to honour Constable John Davidson.