Fallen Edmonton police officers honoured at regimental funeral: 'They were loved'

·4 min read
Fallen Edmonton police officers honoured at regimental funeral: 'They were loved'

Two Edmonton police officers killed in line of duty were remembered fondly Monday by family members and colleagues at a regimental funeral attended by thousands of officers from across Canada.

Travis Jordan, 35, and Brett Ryan, 30, were fatally shot on March 16 while responding to a family dispute at an apartment complex in northwest Edmonton.

"We all want you to know they were loved, respected, admired, and damn great cops," Curtis Hoople, president of the Edmonton Police Association, said in remarks directed at the families of the two fallen officers.

The entire police community mourns with the families, Hoople said during the funeral at Rogers Place in the city's downtown.

Before the funeral, thousands of uniformed officers marched in a procession from the Alberta legislature to the arena. Representatives from 45 police and first-responder agencies marched alongside black hearses carrying the bodies of the fallen officers.

The coffins, wrapped in Canadian flags, were carried into the arena during the funeral ceremony.

Jordan and Ryan's caps, badges and medals were placed atop the coffins.

Both constables were awarded five medals posthumously, including the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal and the EPS Medal of Honour.

'We were able to experience Travis'

Jordan moved across the country from his home in Nova Scotia to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a police officer. He joined the service around eight and a half years ago.

Brodie Sampson, a friend of Jordan's since childhood, said during his eulogy that Jordan had many close friends.

"What we have in common is that we were able to experience Travis: his kindness, contagious joy and unparalleled positivity, even in the face of hardships," Sampson said.

He described Jordan as a passionate golfer who loved to travel and connect with loved ones and friends. Sampson said Jordan had a strong moral compass and was the epitome of integrity.

"We too, can improve our own small corners of the world by following his tireless examples of goodness."

Jordan's widow, Annie Jordan, stood silently beside EPS chaplain Roy Langer as Langer delivered words she had written. She said her husband had an unwavering loyalty to his squad mates and was excited to take every call.

"On our wedding day, I vowed to stand beside you when you honour the fallen and then be understanding when duty comes to call," Langer read on behalf of Jordan.

"So today I am honouring you as I did that day and will continue as long as I live until we are together again."

Edmonton Police Service
Edmonton Police Service

Ryan grew up near Edmonton in Spruce Grove, Alta. He worked as a paramedic in northern Alberta, where he met his wife, before joining the city's police service about 5½ years ago.

His brother, Garett Ryan, referred to him as his "big little brother" because he looked up to him.

"My mom always used to say that hard work, dedication and perseverance will get you anywhere. Brett pulled that advice into him and made it his own," Garett said.

He said his brother's mantra was to work hard and play hard at activities ranging from fishing and camping to skydiving and hunting. Ryan taught his two older brothers not to take things too seriously and had a "wheezy, contagious laugh," Garett said.

"His legacy is that he's a small town boy from Fox Creek and Spruce Grove, Alta., who followed his dreams and made the entire world notice."

Ashley Ryan said her husband didn't want his eulogy to be sad, but to focus on laughable memories.

She said he had a generous soul and a personality that captured everyone's attention and heart.

"He had a crooked little grin, which usually meant he was up to no good," she said. "But you couldn't help but smile along with him."

Pregnant with their first child, Ashley Ryan said her husband will forever be their child's angel.

"You will live on in baby Ryan and they will know every last detail about how special you were to so many people — and most importantly, to me."

Community response

Both families have expressed gratitude for the response from the community.

The deaths have been met with an outpouring of support and messages of condolence from high-profile politicians including the premier and prime minister.

Since the Edmonton Police Department hired its first constable in 1892, 10 officers have been killed while on the job, according to the history section of the police service's website.

The last fatality was in June 2015. Const. Daniel Woodall was fatally shot while trying to forcibly enter the house of a suspect wanted for criminal harassment.

A southwest Edmonton school is named in Woodall's honour.

Students at the school paid tribute to the two officers by writing messages of support and hanging blue ribbons around the building last week.