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Park re-named in honour of fallen police officer

September 2023

A large crowd gathered on 18 September in a small park in Bradford, Ontario, for the official re-naming of Middleton Park to Constable Devon Northrup Memorial Park, in honor of the fallen 33-year-old South Simcoe Police officer killed in the line of duty almost exactly a year prior.

On 11 October 2022, South Simcoe Police Constable Devon Northrup, a 6-year veteran, and his partner, 54-year-old Constable Morgan Russell, a 33-year veteran, were killed in an ambush shooting after they responded to a disturbance at an Innisfil home.

Friends, first responders, including South Simcoe Police Service and Peel Regional Police (SSPS) officers council members of the Towns of Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil, the towns policed by the SSPS and members of the general public were there to honour and remember Constable Northrup.

Two signs denoting the new name of the park were unveiled, one a the north entrance and one at the south entrance, both surrounded by a bed of various flowers. The south entrance sign also included a Canadian red granite rock at the base of the sign, on which are carved the words “Badge #229 Worn With Pride And Honour.”

After words Bradford-West Gwillimbury Mayor James Leduc, Chris Gariepy, police services board chair, Police chief John Van Dyke, master of ceremonies Bradford-West Gwillimbury Deputy Mayor Raj Sandhu, turned the microphone over the guests of honour, the Northrup family.

Devon’s parents, Ron and Heather, both retired RCMP officers, stepped up to the podium first. Ron Northrup spoke, while Heather clutched a bouquet of flowers, sharing his last memory of his son, “We remember Devon as he was pulling out of driveway last Thanksgiving weekend. He was headed home with turkey dinner leftovers. He texted us the next evening and told us about all the lunches he had made for that week, but the next day was October 11, 2022.”

Next to speak was Devon’s brother Brock, holding his young son Liam in his arms, and then his other brother Andrew.

Deputy Mayor Sandhu then invited all in attendance to accompany the Ceremonial Honour Guard to the south entrance to the park, where brothers Brock and Devon unveiled the memorial sign. A short walk along the sidewalk to the north entrance followed for the unveiling of a sign at that entrance, with young Liam skipping along as he walked, a heartwarming moment child-like innocence in stark contrast to the solemnity of the occasion.

Alan Kuzmich Memorial Park

Sources: https://www.orilliamatters.com/local-news/bradford-park-renamed-in-honour-of-slain-const-devon-northrup-7565866

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/park-re-named-in-honour-of-fallen-police-officer/

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