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(Posted 9:30 a.m., Sept. 14)
Orléans street named after slain policeman Eric Czapnik
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Cst. Eric Czapnik was killed outside the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus in December 2009. File photo

The family of slain Ottawa police officer Eric Czapnik were "honoured and humbled" to have a street near the East Division police station on St. Joseph Blvd. named in his honour on Thursday.

Czapnik was stabbed to death by former RCMP police officer Kevin Gregson on Dec. 29, 2009 while he was sitting in his police cruiser outside the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital. Gregson stabbed Czapnik after he refused to give up his gun.

His widow Anna Korutowska and their children Lukasz Galazka, 29, Catherine Czapnik, 23 and Anthony Korutowska, 6, were joined by dozens of police officers and city officials for the dedication ceremony which was topped with the unveiling of the street sign by six-year-old Anthony.

Czapnik was assigned to East Division when he first joined the force in 2007. His commanding officer was then Superintendent Charles Bordeleau. Now Chief, Bordeleau called Czapnick "a true hero" during the dedication ceremony.

“We want the name, Eric Czapnik Way, to be a reminder to everybody, not only our officers and members of the police service, but our community to pursue your dreams and never give up on what you want to do,” said Bordeleau. “Although he was a short time with us, he made a contribution to our community and our police service and it’s something that we will never forget.”

Czapnik's oldest son Lukasz said his father became a police offficer at the age of 49 to make the world a better place.

“We will remember not the tragedy, but the character,” said Galazka. “The character of a man who would not give up his gun no matter what happened.”

The ceremony was attended by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Polish ambassador Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz. It included an honour guard, bagpipes, and a police escort.

Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau, Eric Czapnik's widow Anna Korutowska, and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson hold up the new street sign dedicated in the fallen police officer's honour. Metro/Joe Lofaro

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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