Don Iveson delivers tearful tribute to Const. Daniel Woodall
'We stand strong with you and for you,' Iveson tells police
Edmonton mayor Don Iveson wiped tears from his cheeks Tuesday morning speaking at a news conference about the death of police officer Const. Daniel Woodall.
"On behalf of Edmontonians and my council colleagues, I want to extend our condolences to the family of Const. Daniel Woodall," mayor Don Iveson said haltingly.
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Iveson also recognized Sgt. Jason Harley who was also injured. He is now recovering at home.
"Edmonton is a safe city because, by and large, good people live here," Iveson said. "The very bravest and best among us step forward to become first responders.
They shouldn't have to experience what they're experiencing, but I have to commend her courage … and will be there for her family.- Mayor Don Iveson's message to Claire Woodall
"Last night we saw the very best in our police service and the city's other first responders, including Edmonton Fire Rescue who rushed to the scene without hesitation. The level of danger still uncertain. To the EPS members that responded last night with such bravery on the scene, and to those off duty members who reported to their stations to carry the burden for the rest of the city, you have our gratitude."
Iveson also commended Const. Woodall's widow, Claire Woodall, who sent a message of thanks on Twitter early Tuesday to Edmontonians for their messages of sympathy.
Your generous outpouring of love for myself and my boys fills my heart.. He is my hero,our boys'hero &Edmonton's newest hero. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EPSstrong?src=hash">#EPSstrong</a>—@NumberGenie
"As your mayor, I reflect the sadness that I feel in the community — but I feel this most deeply as a father of young children," Iveson said, "and I'm incredibly sad for them and for Mrs. Woodall."
"They shouldn't have to experience what they're experiencing, but I have to commend her courage … and will be there for her family."
In the coming days, Iveson asked Edmontonians to keep first responders and their families in mind.
"This is a safe city, in no small part because of the service that our police members provide every day," he said.
"I'd simply ask all Edmontonians to keep our EPS members in your thoughts and in your prayers. We stand strong with you and for you."
Controversy over long gun registry
During questioning, Iveson sparked controversy over a comment made during question period in Ottawa about the long gun registry.
"I do have a concern with gun violence and I will say the loss of the gun registry may be related to this."
He later apologized, tweeting "Speculation about gun registry this morning was premature. Focus should remain our condolences & safety of EPS members & public. Apologies."
Condolences pour in from across Canada
Leaders across Canada are also offering condolences to the family and colleagues of Const. Daniel Woodall.
"It is with deep sadness that I learned that Constable Daniel Woodall had been fatally shot in the line of duty, protecting the people of Edmonton," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.
"This tragic event is a somber reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face every day in their service to Albertans. I join Alberta families in thanking them for all they do to protect our communities," seconded Premier Rachel Notley, also in a statement.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann also released a message:
"Last night, the City of Edmonton and the people of Alberta lost a hero, the brave men and women of the Edmonton Police Service lost a comrade and friend, and a young family lost their dad and husband," he said. "Like all Albertans, I am heartbroken at the news of Constable Woodall's death in the line of duty."
The Greater Machester Police Federation, where Woodall worked prior to moving to Edmonton, also issued a message of mourning:
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. Our thoughts are with Daniel's family and his colleagues, as they try to come to terms with this tragic event.
Police officers the world over expect to come home after each shift, but they have a benign acknowledgement that due to their vocation, this may not always be the case as they strive to serve and protect others.