Funeral arrangements have been announced for Sgt. Andrew Harnett, the Calgary police officer killed in the line of duty on New Year’s Eve.
The Calgary Police Service said in a news release on Thursday that Alberta Health has granted an exemption for Harnett’s funeral service, allowing up to 50 people to attend in person. However, other COVID-19 protocols will still be followed.
The service will be invite-only, attended solely by family, close friends and colleagues, and will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“The regimental funeral ceremony comes with hundreds of years of customs and tradition,” said CPS in a statement. “It includes a Bearer Party, honourary pallbearers and a Colour Guard who ensure any officer killed in the line of duty is honoured with the utmost respect and dignity.”
Although the funeral itself will be private, CPS said a procession will follow and be livestreamed for the public.
The Canadian Armed Forces also said Friday that two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets from the 410 Squadron at 4 Wing in Cold Lake will do a flyover during the ceremony.
The aircraft will fly over CPS headquarters at approximately 3 p.m. MT.
“Through this flypast, the Royal Canadian Air Force will pay respects to Sgt. Harnett, and honour his service and sacrifice in protecting Canadians and the citizens of Calgary, both as a member of the Calgary Police Service and as a former member of the military police in the Canadian Armed Forces,” the Armed Forces said.
In an emailed statement Friday, a CPS spokesperson said the service requested an exemption from the capacity rules for Harnett’s funeral service on behalf of his family “based on the exceptional circumstances and his ultimate sacrifice.”
Alberta Health said Friday the funeral is “under strict health protocols,” and that considering it’s being facilitated by CPS, the ministry was “confident that they are organized and disciplined to comply with the special, agreed-upon restrictions.”
Health Minister Tyler Shandro said he “strongly supported” the decision to let an amended regimental funeral take place.
“Sgt. Harnett’s death in the line of duty is a profound shock and loss to Calgary and to our province,” he said in an emailed statement.
“I strongly support the exemption for his funeral, which will allow our province and the Calgary Police Service to grieve.”
Harnett was killed after being struck and dragged by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop. Despite the heroic attempts by his colleagues and members of EMS to save his life, he died as a result of his injuries.
The 37-year-old officer joined CPS 12 years ago after serving as a military police officer.
His partner of seven years, Chelsea, is expecting their first child in the summer of 2021.