Hundreds of police officers from across Canada and the United States are in Thunder Bay today to mourn the loss of Cst. Joe Prevett, a K-9 Thunder Bay police officer who died suddenly during a training exercise earlier this month.
Close to 20 police dogs led Prevett's funeral procession down Arthur Street — a tribute OPP Constable Dan Bailey said was fitting.
"He had great love and a passion for the K-9 program. Joe loved doing what he was doing," Bailey said.
"Joe enjoyed life. But you know what? Joe enjoyed the K-9 program, he really did. "
Bailey is a fellow dog handler who's known Prevett for close to a decade. He walked with Prevett's dog, Timber, during the march to St. Patrick's Cathedral.
"[Joe] loved policing, he comes from a family where four other brothers are well known police officers," Bailey continued.
"He'll be well missed, but he will be remembered, he won't be forgotten. It's nice to see the support that comes from all around the province, the country and also outside the country."
Thunder Bay police service inspector Alan McKenzie agreed.
"People are coming from out of town ... two officers from Halifax, officers from the states, Victoria, BC, all across Canada," he noted.
No one would have suspected that Prevett, who "was a very healthy, young, vibrant person," would be gone so soon, McKenzie said.
"Joe was a great friend to a lot of people. He was compassionate about his job. He was empathetic to the people of our community. So it's important we take this time to show how proud we are of the job he did for us," he said.
"He was always professional. He was someone I wanted other officers to idolize, and to say 'this is what I aspire to'."