Uniformed officers, dignitaries and civilians packed the Toronto Congress Centre on Dixon Road to say their final goodbyes to Toronto Const. John Zivcic, 34, who died while on the job.
Bagpipes wailed as the officer’s casket was carried up the aisle at the public memorial service on Monday.
The procession included hundreds of uniformed toronto police officers, as well as RCMP, OPP and officers from other forces from throughout Ontario and beyond.
Superintendent Frank Bergen is the unit commander at 22 Division where Zivcic was stationed and spoke fondly of the constable.
“We had a trying week. We’ll play spiritual respect to John on Thursday at the community mass,” Bergen said.
John’s brother Tom Zivcic delivered an emotional yet funny eulogy, remembering moments with his brother while growing up.
“We give thanks for the life of a man I am so glad to call my brother. The unique, the intense, the sensitive, the extraordinary and irreplaceable John, whose beauty, internal and external will never be extinguished from our minds and hearts. Johnny, tell God to get you a pair of 200-pound dumbbells. I’ll be there to spot you when we see each other again.”
Police Chief Bill Blair described Zivcic as “a very fine young man” who was generous and compassionate, adding that he donated his organs to others after his death.
Zivcic was responding to a call on Nov. 30 when his unmarked cruiser collided with another car at Bloor Street West and Neilson Drive, near Highway 427.
The officer, who worked in the force for six years, was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital where he died last Monday.
He was Toronto’s 26th officer to die while on duty since the Toronto police force began in 1957. Click here for their names.
Below is a route map of the procession route to the service:
Premier Kathleen Wynne and mayor Rob Ford also attended the service.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Bocchinfuso Funeral Home in Thorold, Ont.
A private funeral will be held on Dec. 12 at St. Anthony Croatian Roman Catholic Church in Welland.