Const. Daniel Woodall died in fight against hate
'He said, it's our job to make sure you are safe,' says man who worked closely with fallen officer
Const. Daniel Woodall died in the fight against hate.
The eight-year veteran of the Edmonton police was shot several times on the doorstep of a home in west Edmonton on Monday night while serving an arrest warrant relating to a hate crimes matter.
His children woke up this morning without a father, his wife without a husband.
Those who worked closely with Woodall remember a passionate, dedicated and caring police officer.
Kris Wells, the director of programs and services at the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta, worked with Woodall closely, both professionally and personally.
Within the past year, Wells filed his own hate crime complaint after being harassed online. He met with Woodall on numerous occasions, and watched as the officer combed through pages of documents collected in the case.
"He was meticulous at his job," Wells said, adding that it was Woodall's compassion that put him at ease.
"Finally, I said to Daniel, 'I just need to know if I'm going to be safe,'" Wells said, recounting a conversation with Woodall, "And he said, 'it's our job to make sure you are safe.' and I'll never forget that.
"He had a passion for protecting Edmontonians and combatting hate, and that's a legacy we will always remember."
Woodall, 35, was recruited from Great Britain, where he served with the Greater Manchester Police for seven years. He and his wife, Claire, moved to Edmonton after he accepted a job with EPS and eventually joined the hate crimes unit. Claire Woodall found work at a local radio station. The couple has two young boys.
Before learning that her husband was the officer killed last night, Woodall shared her concerns with her followers on Twitter.
Maurice Brodeur, Edmonton Police Association president, said Woodall had taken up hunting and was a "happy-go-lucky fellow with a smile on his face."
By happenstance, Brodeur said he ran into Woodall just a few days ago, a chance run-in that he's now reflecting on.
"We had a laugh, and a joke and to suddenly find him gone, it's too much to comprehend.
"I can't believe he's gone," he said, his voice breaking.
Partner 'completely shook up'
Sgt. Jason Harley, 38, was shot in the back but his armoured vest stopped the bullet. He has since been released from hospital.
Brodeur said Harley is "completely shook up."
"He's just overcome by guilt and anger over the whole situation, guilt that somehow he could have done something to help," he said.
Brodeur said he wanted to send a message to the citizens of Edmonton.
"We're your protectors. If you could do this favour for my members, the men and the women, if you could embrace them with all you got. It's a tough job, and they need that support."
On Tuesday morning the Greater Manchester Police released a statement saying: "No matter where police officers serve, the dangers of policing are a day to day reality for officers. The thinning blue line is the very veneer that holds society together, by protecting victims and deterring offenders. Sadly, Daniel has paid the ultimate price in the service of his community."
Details surrounding Const. Woodall's funeral have yet to be determined.