Mayor attends funeral for York policeman killed in line of duty
Bearing the grief and condolences of an entire city, Mayor Linda Jackson was one of thousands who attended the funeral of 43-year-old Det. Const. Robert Plunkett Wednesday.
The 22-year veteran of the York Regional Police service died in hospital after sustaining serious injuries while attempting to make an early-morning arrest in an air bag theft investigation on Aug. 2. He was struck and dragged by a vehicle while other officers tried to stop the car before being thrown onto a quiet Markham street.
“Our heartfelt sympathies and prayers are with his family,” Jackson said in a prepared statement. “This is a difficult time for the men and women who worked with him, and they have our sincerest condolences.”
The City of Vaughan lowered flags at all its facilities to half-mast in Plunkett’s honour.
A member of the Special Services Unit, he is being remembered as a good cop who pledged much of his off-duty time and energy to the Special Olympics, an organization he’d been involved with for years. He was commended for his bravery on the job after saving a senior from drowning in 1998.
Other dignitaries at the funeral were Premier Dalton McGuinty, Lt.-Gov. James Bartleman and York Regional Police Chief Armand LaBarge. Joining them were thousands of representatives from police forces from across North America, including the OPP and RCMP.
Police have charged 19-year-old Nadeem Jiwa of Toronto with first-degree murder in connection with Plunkett’s death.
Plunkett is survived by his wife and three children.
Vaughan Today Friday, August 10, 2007 Page: 2 Byline: Philip Alves