EDMONTON — Edmonton police are hosting a run for over 200 school kids to commemorate Canada’s first Aboriginal police officer, as part of National Aboriginal History Month.
Monday’s annual run is an appropriate commemoration for Alex Decoteau, who was not only an Edmonton police officer but an Olympic runner. He competed in the 1912 Olympic Games, and is considered one of Canada’s greatest marathon runners.
“We want to encourage youth to have the same dedication and healthy lifestyle as Alex Decoteau, so they can run faster toward their goals and play a more positive role in their community,” said Const. Lisa Wolfe, Edmonton Police Service Recruiting Unit.
“For many Aboriginal police members, his legacy has been an inspiration, and we want others to continue to follow in his footsteps and consider a career in policing.”
The run also helps promote physical fitness. The students will run a three-kilometer route.
Decoteau was born on the Red Pheasant Indian Reserve in Saskatchewan on Nov. 19, 1887. He moved to Edmonton 1909 and joined the Edmonton Police Service two years later. He made Sergeant in 1914. In 1916, he enlisted with the Canadian Army, and served until his death in the battle at Passchendaele, Belgium, in Oct. 1917.
In 2014, a new downtown park and new southeast residential area in Edmonton were named in honour of Decoteau.
Edmonton police have also released the Alex Decoteau Legacy of Heroes Comic Book, the first in a series created to tell the stories of the people and events that are part of the police service’s history.