Victoria detective honoured for work identifying fallen officers

Det.-Const. Jonathan Sheldan named member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by governor-general

Victoria police Det.-Const. Jonathan Sheldan

A Victoria police officer’s dedication to honouring fallen police and peace officers in B.C. has earned him a special honour.

Det.-Const. Jonathan Sheldan was appointed a member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by Gov.-Gen David Johnston in a ceremony in Ottawa on May 9. Sheldan was one of 34 police officers recognized.

The 20-year Victoria police veteran, who works with the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit, earned the appointment for his historical research identifying police and peace officers in B.C. who have lost their lives.

The detective said last week’s recognition is not about him.

“It’s about us not forgetting the sacrifice of others,” he said.

Sheldan founded the B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation with two Vancouver police officers, which led to the creation of a memorial at the southeast corner of the legislature in Victoria in 2004. The names of 96 fallen officers in B.C. were featured on it at the time.

Through their historical research, foundation members identified 10 more officers who have paid the ultimate price, and their names have since been added to the granite bastion.

More recently, Sheldan has identified eight officers who died in the 1800s. Their names will be engraved on the monument later this year, bringing the total to 114.

“There was a time period when I was new on the job that I think we’d forgotten part of our history, and it really struck me that you can’t do that, you can’t forget the members that never got to go home one night,” he said. “They didn’t get to go back to their families like I do.”

In his leadership role with the Victoria Police Department’s Historical Society and his work with the Canadian Heraldic Authority, Sheldan was also instrumental in the development of VicPD’s first crest and coat of arms, unveiled in 2009.

An exhibit showcasing how the department developed its coat of arms will be featured at the National Capital Commission’s Capital Information Centre in Ottawa, starting Thursday (May 17) and running until Nov. 11. The display marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

Sheldan’s Order of Merit appointment is well-deserved and reflects his dedication to the Victoria Police Department and its history, said Victoria’s police chief.

“Jonathan’s commitment to VicPD and his passion for honouring our history have shone through during his career,” Chief Const. Jamie Graham said in a statement.

In his speech, Johnston said the appointees put the needs of others before their own.

“You are here not by accident, but because you have stood out as willing to go beyond the call of duty, to think differently about the work that you do and to show compassion for the community,” he said.

Since the inception of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2000, select members and employees of police agencies in Canada have been recognized for exceptional contributions that go above and beyond protecting the public.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Related story on the Victoria police museum

Just Posted

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Lost wedding ring found on Valentine’s Day

Dan Milbrath’s ring is back where it belongs

Victoria installation for the blind causes problems for those with mobility issues

The truncated domes installed at Blanshard and Fort streets aren’t helpful for everyone

Funds being raised for double-amputee Ecuadorean dancer

North Saanich woman is putting out collection jars if people would like to donate

New report finds some Syrian refugees struggling in job market

Government-sponsored refugees have found it more than difficult than privately sponsored refugees

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

Most Read