Alberta officers march for fallen men and women

Hundreds of Alberta officers marched Sunday in Edmonton to honour the 100 men and women killed on duty in the province since 1876.

100 Alberta officers killed on duty since 1876 honoured in Edmonton ceremony

As hundreds of officers gathered at the Alberta legislature for Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day, Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht reflected on the men and women who have died on duty during his 40-year career. 1:48

Seven hundred Alberta officers stood facing a table of unworn police hats Sunday, after marching across Alberta's legislature ground in honour of national Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day.

Each hat represented one branch of law enforcement in Alberta, where 100 men and women have died on duty since 1876.

"I hope this show of support brings you some solace," Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht told the families who gathered for the annual ceremony.

Hundreds of officers marched across the Alberta legislature grounds Sunday in honour of the 100 men and women who have died while on duty in the province. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

Throughout his 40-year career in law enforcement, Knecht has handled five on-duty deaths in his ranks.

"I hope I can get to the end of my career without ever getting that call again," Knecht told reporters after Sunday's ceremony.

"It's the worst call," he added. "I remember every minute about every call."

Most recently, Knecht walked in the funeral procession for Const. Daniel Woodall, who was shot dead in 2015 while serving an arrest warrant.

"It seems like yesterday," Knecht said.

Knecht also dealt with the shooting-deaths of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alta., as RCMP senior deputy commissioner in 2005.

"I remember every one of these deaths," he said. "They all bring back terrible memories."

"They all bring back terrible memories," Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said about the officer-deaths he has dealt with during his 40-year career. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

For the past 19 years, officers across Canada have honoured fallen colleagues on the last Sunday of every September.

The day serves as a reminder of the sacrifices men and women in law enforcement are willing to make, Knecht said.

"Police officers are expected to be perfect and we're only human beings," he said. "We live like human beings and we die like human beings.

"Our families suffer like other families suffer and so I don't think we're any different than anybody else."

No officers have been killed in Alberta this year.