Four days after a tragic incident took the life of a Calgary police officer, his family issued a statement sharing details about the man so many are mourning.
The letter which was shared by the Calgary Police Service (CPS) Monday, opens by explaining how overwhelming the past few days have been and expressing gratitude for the support offered to the family.
Sgt. Andrew Harnett was described as a man who loved life and sharing moments with his friends, family and his partner Chelsea.
“Andrew’s life was incredibly full of all the things he loved. He lived with no regrets and exhausted every opportunity to have a good time.”
Among his favourite activities his family described bon fires, hunting trips “to the hunt ‘shack'” with his friends as well as annual motorcycle trips to Wallace, Idaho.
Harnett, originally from Hagersville, Ont., was a huge Hamilton Tiger-Cats fan and was looking forward to the Grey Cup in Hamilton. He also loved the NFL and was a loyal Miami Dolphins fan.
The family spoke in depth of Harnett’s loyalty and selflessness — not just to his favourite sports teams but to his friends, family and country. In his inner circles the 37-year old was known as “the first person to volunteer to help someone move, build a garage, fence or lend you his truck.”
“He was the type of friend that would give you the shirt off his back without question.”
Lived to serve
The letter details Sgt. Harnett’s path to becoming a CPS member. The family explains the Ontario native knew from a young age he wanted to be a police officer and spent his youth volunteering with Crime Stoppers and building relationships with local law enforcement.
Harnett first joined the military police in Edmonton before becoming a Calgary police officer. He spend his entire 12-year career with CPS as a street officer in District 5 because “he loved working in one of the busiest areas of the city.”
According to his family,
“Andrew would have given everything for the police, and he did.”
In the statement his family said Sgt. Harnett understood the risks of the job and did not allow that interfere with his desire to make a difference. Along with his role as an officer, Sgt. Harnett participated in many CPS fundraising activities and earned two Life Saving Awards, something they describe as “a testimony to his dedication to going above and beyond.”
Lived life to the fullest
The letter speaks extensively about Harnett’s passion for life and how his childhood offered him life skills you can really only garner through experience. As a young boy he would skate on the quarry, build tree forts, waterski at the cottage and wrestle with his two older brothers and friends.
On a lighter note the statement talks about how wrestling was always great for his older brothers until Harnett grew to be much bigger and stronger than them.
Harnett was a prankster as a young boy and grew up to possess a character his brothers, mother and late father all admired.
The emotional statement closes by describing Harnett’s relationship to his partner Chelsea, who he had spent the past seven years with.
The two shared many passions including travelling, vacationing, sports and sampling the Calgary brewery scene. They were expecting their first child this summer.
“Andrew couldn’t have been more excited to be a loving and dedicated father.”
The family has responded to donation requests by saying “those wishing to provide financial support to the family can do so through a trust account” set up in Sgt. Harnett’s memory at ATB Financial. (account #07149-00721001979) or via electronic transfer to SgtHarnettFamily@gmail.com.
Donations can also be made to local Legion branches in his honour.
To read the full statement click here.