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Thousands gather at funeral for Toronto officer killed in the line of duty


July 12, 2021
By Canadian Press

July 12, 2021 – Several thousand police officers from across the country gathered in Toronto on Monday to say goodbye to an officer who died in the line of duty.

The funeral for Const. Jeffrey Northrup got underway at the BMO Field stadium in downtown Toronto following a procession made up of officers on foot, horseback and in a marching band.

Supt. Greg Cole of the force’s 52 Division, where Northrup worked, called the officer a “gentle giant.”

“When you were around Jeff, it was hard to be in a bad mood,” Cole said.

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“He was a tenacious and energetic investigator, tirelessly scouring the streets and back alleys and taking the time to comfort and console victims.”

Northrup worked with Toronto police for 31 years. He was first a court officer before being hired as a full-fledged officer with Toronto police in 1999.

Northrup was killed in what investigators have called a deliberate act while he was responding to a report of a robbery in a parking lot at Toronto City Hall earlier this month.

Investigators said he died after being struck by a vehicle. A 31-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder.

Premier Doug Ford, paying tribute to the officer, said Northrup made “the ultimate sacrifice.”

“He put his life on the line in order to serve and protect his community and this is a debt that will not be repaid,” Ford said.

Northrup’s wife, Margaret, is set to deliver the eulogy. His three children and mother are also at the funeral.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he knew Northrup’s children will “be able to look back with immense pride.”

“He served as a peace officer trying to bring people together,” Tory said.

Officers from across the country came to Toronto to pay their final respects, including members of the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP and forces in Calgary and Vancouver.

The officers dotted the vast stadium where the funeral was held, sitting in every third seat, many wearing black face masks with Northrup’s badge number.

Paramedics who responded to the scene when Northrup was struck were also at the funeral, which wasn’t open to the public but was being livestreamed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2021.