The 20th anniversary of the murder of a police constable was observed in Coburg. Chris Garrett |

The years may be piling up, but the family says so are the memories Coburg Police Service Const. chris garrett,

Wednesday, May 15 marks the 20th anniversary of the 39-year-old veteran police officer’s murder. In the early morning hours of May 15, 2004, while responding to a reported robbery call at the former hospital, Garrett was stabbed by then-18-year-old Troy Dewey, who was claiming to be the victim of a robbery.

Before dying, Garrett fired a shot from his gun, hitting Dewey in the leg. Dewey is later arrested at the hospital as he seeks medical attention for his gunshot wound.

During his trial, the court heard that Davy had planned to shoot the officers when they responded to a robbery call. Dewey was convicted of first-degree murder.

Coburg Police Service Const. Chris Garrett was killed in the line of duty on May 15, 2004.

Coburg Police Service

On Wednesday, family, friends and colleagues gathered at the park, which was created in 2005 and named in Garrett’s honor.

Story continues below advertisement

Garrett’s sister Nancy Ponica says her brother is “unforgettable.” Garrett is survived by his wife Denise, two children, Benjamin and Brittany, and five siblings.

“He is unforgettable,” Ponica told Global News. “Those are the only words I have to describe him. He was just a kind soul.”

The email you need for the day
Top news from Canada and around the world.

Flowers and cups of coffee were placed around the Garrett Memorial Park memorial statue Wednesday. The statue consists of two dozen steel birds shaped like the letter ‘C’ to represent “Chris”. sculptor gerald gladstone It is said that the 24 birds represent Date of Constitution. Death of Garrett – Fifth month, 15th day of the fourth year.

Constable’s family. Chris Garrett gathers at the memorial statue in Coburg, Ontario. On May 15, 2024. Garrett died in the line of duty on May 15, 2004.

Tricia Mason/Global News Peterborough

Bagpipers playing during celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the death of Const. Chris Garrett at the park named in his honor in Coburg, Ontario.

Tricia Mason/Global News Peterborough

Coburg Police Service Chief Paul Vandegraff speaks to the audience during a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the murder of Const. Chris Garrett at the park named in his honor on May 15, 2024.

Tricia Mason/Global News Peterborough

Ponica, along with his mother Evelyn and sister Joan Bauder, say each visit highlights a new page in Garrett’s life.

Story continues below advertisement

“Every year I come here I hear more and more stories about them,” Ponica said. “Every year you learn something new. Many people liked him. He had a big heart.”

During a ceremony, Police Service Chief Paul Vandegraff said the city owes Garrett immense gratitude.

“I want everyone here to reflect on the life of Chris Garrett,” said Vandegraff, who was appointed police chief in 2019. The impact this murder has had on all of us… We stand here to recognize a man who made the ultimate sacrifice for the community he served. There is a saying in our police officer memorial ‘Heroes are in life, not in death.’

Garrett is one of two Coburg police officers who have died in the line of duty. Constable William Rourke died of a heart attack during an arrest in 1915. Both officers are honored on a memorial wall inside the Coburg Police Station.

Click to play video: 'Coburg Police unveils Wall of Honor in memory of martyred constables'

Coburg Police unveils Wall of Honor in memory of martyred constables

Story continues below advertisement

“Too many police officers – even one police officer that died is too many,” Vandegraff said. “And we don’t see this trend ending. “So we need to use these moments to really reflect on all the people who serve our community so well.”

Ponica says her family is grateful for the continued support from the community and Garrett’s colleagues.

“We are like one big family. The police officers are great,” she said. “They are clearly caring people. Just keep in touch. It’s hard but you move forward. And there are bad days and good days too.”

©2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.