Thanks for your service: Dan Jorgensen (1957-2017)

Mike Aiken
May 15, 2017
By Mike Aiken
Kenora residents are marking the sudden loss of former police chief Dan Jorgensen. As he was preparing to mark his 60th birthday, he was kayaking along the Winnipeg River towards Gimli, so he could skydive on his birthday. 

Sadly, witnesses say his kayak overturned in rough water Friday evening. A note from the family says he was trying to navigate Sturgeon Falls at the mouth of Nutimik Lake. Unfortunately, the witnesses were too far away to assist, said his brother David Jorgensen.

Jorgensen was a key figure in a pivotal murder trial in Kenora. He also oversaw the dissolution of the Kenora Police Service, when city council decided to offer a contract to the OPP.

In his time as chief, and in his retirement years, Jorgensen was an advocate for change, when it came to relationships with the city's homeless population and indigenous community. He presented detailed plans for dealing with systemic sources of poverty and crime.

"It's just a tragic day for everybody in the city," said Coun. Sharon Smith. "Dan was so well loved. He was such a community man, such a good father and grandfather. He was a friend to all. You couldn't meet a better man."

At the time of his passing, he served as a spokesman for Making Kenora Home, a group created in the wake of the Adams Block fire in an effort to create new and more affordable housing.

"His contributions to all the homelessness initiatives, the emergency shelter, his compassion, his hardwork, his dedication... You very seldom come across a man as good, as hard working and as compassionate as Dan. He's going to be so missed," Smith continued.

Details on services have not yet been released. He and his wife had recently celebrated 36 years together.

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