The family of a Calgary police officer who grew up in Hagersville, Ont., are thanking the community for the outpouring of support they’ve received over the last few days following the death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett.
Flags were at half-mast across Haldimand County and in a number of other communities across Southern Ontario on the weekend to show support following Harnett’s death in the line of duty on New Year’s Eve.
Many residents also replaced porch lights with blue lights and ribbons on doors and trees in response to a campaign backed by the Calgary Police Department to show support for the Harnett family.
Harnett’s brother took to social media and posted pictures of the support for Andrew’s family, which included recognition from the Hagersville United Chruch on its message board and a shoutout on Twitter from Don Cherry.
On Friday, Jason Harnett told Global News in Calgary that his brother was a “dedicated and passionate guy” who loved policing and life.
“He had an amazing sense of humour. He was dedicated and passionate about getting into policing right from the get-go,” Jason said. “He knew what he wanted to be. Whenever profession came up, that’s what he wanted to do. And he found his way there.”
The former Hagersville Secondary student, who moved west to pursue a career in law enforcement, was a military police officer in Edmonton before putting in 12 years of service with Calgary police.
Harnett, 37, was hit and dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop in northeast Calgary on Dec. 31.
Two teens have been charged with first-degree murder and are set to appear in court on Monday for a bail hearing.
Amir Abdulrahman, 19, and a 17-year-old boy are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Harnett.
The two turned themselves in late Friday afternoon and appeared before a Justice of the Peace on Saturday morning.
Jason said his brother had embraced life in Calgary and lived with his partner of more than five years in the nearby town of Strathmore, about 40 minutes east of the city.
“Thank you to everybody that’s reached out, through phone or social media or email,” his brother Jason said.
“Complete strangers are sharing so many really nice messages about my brother and his service.”
With files from Allison Bench and Jill Croteau