Constable Ryan Russell, 35, the Toronto police officer killed by a snow plow at the intersection of Avenue Rd. and Davenport Rd. on January 12, is the 821st officer killed in the line of duty in Canada. In Ontario, he is the 249th officer to be killed.
While 821 police officers may seem like a lot, this number pales in comparison to the number of police officers killed in the US- a staggering 20,400 officers. 8 police officers in the US have already died this year compared to Canada’s 1 so far.
The last time a Toronto police officer was killed was in 2002, when Constable Laura Ellis’ squad car collided with another car. Ellis was the first female Toronto police officer to die in the line of duty.
The Toronto Metropolitan Police Service, the department that both Russell and Ellis were a part of, has suffered the most deaths in all of Ontario’s history. 35 police officers killed since 1918, when Acting Detective Frank A. Williams, 28, was killed by gunfire while investigating a theft.
The last Canadian police officer to die before Russell was Constable Sébastien Coghlan-Goyette, 25. He was killed in a car accident on November 14, 2010 while responding to an emergency call.
Tragic as deaths of police are, they tend to happen rather infrequently in Canada.