Slain retired Ottawa police officer remembered as a 'gentle giant'

·3 min read

Former members of the Ottawa police community are remembering one of their own, 63-year-old Guy Giroux, as a "gentle giant," after news of his death in Val-des-Monts this week.

Giroux's body was found in a home on chemin de la Moisson, in the Perkins sector north of Gatineau, Que., on Sunday after police were called at around 11:30 p.m. Giroux's son, Marc-André Giroux, 31, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in relation to his death.

Retired Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau said he was shocked and saddened by the news of Giroux's death, calling him "a great police officer."

"He was diligent. He was compassionate … and dedicated to his community," Bordeleau said.

Bordeleau wouldn't comment on the facts of the case except to say they were "very tragic circumstances."

"My condolences to his family, to his friends and his former colleagues," he said.

Retired deputy chief Jill Skinner joined the police force at the same time as Giroux in 1981 and said she got to know him quite well in their police college class.

"He was definitely in the gym a lot, but he was one of those guys that was ... quiet, soft-spoken, always willing to listen," she said.

Skinner remembers Giroux as a big man who loved fitness and would often run to work in the morning.

She recounted a story about the doctor who conducted physical testing when Giroux first joined the police service. After checking Giroux's oxygen level, the doctor said, "you could put Guy on the [Highway] 401 and he could run until he ran out of tarmac."

"A lot of people will describe him as a gentle giant. He had hands the size of baseball gloves," Skinner said.

"A tall man, big hands, could be intimidating," Bordeleau said, adding that Giroux was over 6-5. "But as soon as he spoke, he was very humble, kind, very compassionate ... Very quiet, but committed to youth and their families."

He connected with kids like nobody's business. - Jill Skinner, Retired deputy chief, Ottawa Police Service

Giroux served as a youth investigator when he first worked with Bordeleau. All his former colleagues spoke of his dedication to engaging with youth and their families.

"He connected with kids like nobody's business," Skinner said.

Retired Supt. Don Sweet and Giroux were partners in Vanier during the late 1980s. The two worked together for about seven years.

"It was very quickly in my career that I saw how he reacted and dealt with people ... I really respected the way he was so compassionate and was such a great communicator, that I went to Guy often for advice as a young officer," he said.

The Ottawa Police Service confirmed Giroux joined the force in November 1981 and retired in February 2012, serving 31 years. After working as a youth inspector, Giroux went on to become a general detective before retiring.

Marc-André Giroux is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.