News release from South Simcoe Police: Statement from Acting Chief John Van Dyke
On behalf of all members of the South Simcoe Police Service, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped us get through these unimaginably difficult days.
The incredible support we have received from so many following the sudden, devastating loss of our beloved Constables Morgan Russell and Devon Michael Northrup, has given us strength and reminded us all of the true gift that is compassion.
Today we take an important pause to share our gratitude with those who stepped up and stepped in during our time of intense grief and anguish.
Thank you to the Ontario Provincial Police, Barrie Police Service, York Regional Police and all the countless other police agencies who assisted us in so many ways. We want to acknowledge our partners at Innisfil Fire and Rescue Service, Bradford-West Gwillimbury Fire and Emergency Services and County of Simcoe Paramedic Services.
We are grateful for the kind, caring words and gestures from all levels of government, including personal visits from Premier Ford, Solicitor General Kerzner, Minister Mulroney and MPP Khanjin.
We are also grateful for the strong support shown by the Bradford West Gwillimbury/Innisfil Police Services Board, the South Simcoe Police Association, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Association of Ontario.
To Mayor Dollin and the Town of Innisfil, Mayor Keffer and the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, thank you for assisting us by sharing your facilities, expertise and establishing books of condolence.
When it comes to the outpouring of love and support from our communities and members of the public, words will never be enough to communicate our appreciation and gratitude. The cards, posts and messages both on social media and delivered in person provided much-needed comfort.
The steady stream of flowers, food and beverages reminded us how fortunate we are to serve in communities where people care about their officers. From the blue ribbons tied on trees, to the blue lights on porches – we see them and it helps more than words can say.
We are grateful to have the kind eyes and calming presence of a number of therapy dogs. They made a difference during the darkest days.
The days and weeks ahead will not be easy but we are committed to serving our communities as we always do, with courage, compassion and professionalism.
As did our fallen heroes, Constable Devon Michael Northrup and Constable Morgan Russell.
Banner image: (L) Constable Devon Northrup, 34, and Constable Morgan Russell, 54 (South Simcoe Police handout)