WATCH ABOVE: Constable Woodall died a hero. Now, there are efforts to help his family heal and make sure their sacrifice is not forgotten. Kendra Slugoski reports.
EDMONTON — They are wrapped around trees, lamp posts and fences – blue ribbons have been starting to pop up around the city, especially in the Ormsby Place neighbourhood.
It’s part of an initiative by the EPS Wives’ Association to honour fallen police Const. Daniel Woodall and offer a visible show of support to the Woodall family and the Edmonton police community.
Their goal? To see the entire City of Edmonton wrapped in blue. The group says any blue ribbon hung anywhere will do.
A similar initiative saw white ribbons placed around St. Albert after RCMP Const. David Wynn was shot in January.
Const. Woodall’s family is expected to arrive in Edmonton from Great Britain soon. The route from the airport to the family’s home will be lined with blue ribbons. The EPS Wives’ Association tied the ribbons Tuesday evening.
The EPS Wives’ Association said it is having a hard time finding enough blue ribbon and is hoping construction companies might have some to use for more ribbons.
It has also received many calls from residents and organizations asking how they can help. Some people have offered to drop off meals and other forms of support.
“The Blue Ribbon Campaign is our small way to show that we support the Woodall family to celebrate and honour Dan’s life and to raise awareness that our EPS family is out there every day protecting us and when a crisis happens we all come together and support one another,” said a spokesperson.
“Please show your support by leaving your porch light on or hang a blue ribbon on your car or front door. Together we are all #epsstrong.”
The EPS Wives’ Association was the first group of its kind in Canada. It is also the only one allowed to use the police affiliation in its name.
It describes itself as a group of wives and partners of EPS members that have come together for support and friendship. The number of members has grown significantly in the last number of years, to more than 200. However, with 2,500 EPS members, the association feels many spouses may not know about it.
Send Your Condolences
Beginning at noon on Wednesday, books of condolence will be set up in the main lobby at EPS division stations.
People are also invited to email their messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EPS said more than 500 emails had already been received by noon Wednesday.
The Edmonton Police Service also supports the public using the #EPSstrong hashtag to send support on social media.
During Wednesday’s city council meeting, many councillors and the mayor wore blue ribbons. A moment of silence was also observed before the meeting began.
Mayor Don Iveson noted there are now 10 police officers who have died while serving the City of Edmonton. Six of those officers died from natural or accidental causes, he said.
“But now four have been murdered. All by guns. I want to make sure that we remember all of them.”
Iveson then read out the names of all four officers killed while on duty.
WATCH: People across the country are sharing their sadness about the death of Const. Woodall, but they’re also rallying around the family and police service. Emily Mertz explains.
The Edmonton Police said Wednesday a D. Woodall Family Fund has been set up through RBC. Contributions can be made at any RBC branch.
Donations to the D. Woodall Family Fund can also be made online by visiting gofundme.com/wf7z7yss. All funds donated through this online account will be deposited into the RBC fund for the Woodall family.
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the GoFundMe online campaign had raised close to $69,000.
Keep Porch Light On
Soon after Monday night’s events were made public, residents decided to leave their front porch light on as a show of support.
Lighting Up Blue
The High Level Bridge will be lit up in blue lights Tuesday and Wednesday night to honour EPS.
The ATB building downtown also paid tribute to the fallen officer.
A Facebook group called “True Blue” is also inviting Edmontonians to wear blue and show up at any local police station on Friday to show support.
WATCH: As condolences roll in for the family of Const. Woodall, The Edmonton Police Service is also receiving a lot of support. Kent Morrison explains.
People are leaving flowers and notes, offering whatever support they can.
“I needed to do something,” said Anne. “And laying flowers is what I can do. You know, it’s an action I can take.”
Community Prayer Walk
A prayer walk will be held Friday at 4:30 p.m. It will start at the Our Saviour Lutheran Church parking lot (18345 – 62B Avenue) and will travel through the community.
Several churches in the area will participate and everyone is welcome to take part in the walk.
Organizers say it will be a time for healing since many people are shaken and some were actually in the surrounding churches during the shooting.
“As faith communities, we have some expertise with how to deal with emotions like grief and anger and frustration. And so, we just wanted to offer that to the community,” said Our Saviour Lutheran Church Pastor Philip Penrod.
#EPSstrong Charity T-Shirt
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the charity T-shirt campaign had raised more than $70,000.
Outside Rexall Place during the Shania Twain concert Thursday night, members of the Corus Radio family were set up with a banner for people to sign. It was made available up until showtime for people to write their messages of condolence.
“At times like this usually you only hear from your loved ones, so to be able to hear from strangers, to be able to hear from Edmontonians … it probably means a lot for the family,” said Zac Davis, senior promotions and marketing coordinator with Corus Radio Edmonton.
The banner, which reads “In Honour & In Memory of Constable Daniel Woodall,” will also be available to sign before Twain’s Friday performance and Ed Sheeran’s performance Sunday night at the stadium.
“I think it’s going to fill up tonight pretty quick,” said Davis. “If it fills up we’re just going to flip it over and start signing the back. If it fills up the back, it fills up the front we might just have to go back to our friends at Cowan and see if they’ll do a new one for us.”
After it has been signed, the banner will be presented to Const. Woodall’s family.
Food Truck Lunch
On Tuesday, June 16 at noon, staff from the Hollick Kenyon Original Joe’s will set up a food truck in the parking lot of the EPS Northeast Division Station to prepare lunch for the officers.
“It’s a small token of our appreciation for everything they do for our communities,” said Krista Watt, managing partner of the restaurant.
“We’re hoping that we can share a meal with the officers and their support staff and just be able to really give back to them.”
*NOTE: This article was originally published on June 9 and updated to include more initiatives on June 10.