'Incredibly loyal and giving': Family pens tribute to slain Calgary police officer
Sgt. Andrew Harnett in a photo released by his family. (Courtesy Harnett family)
CALGARY -- Sgt. Andrew Harnett was the type of person who would give someone the shirt off his back, be the first to volunteer to help someone move or lend out his truck to a friend, family members said in a statement Monday.
Harnett, 37, was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop in northeast Calgary on New Year's Eve.
Two teens — Amir Abdulrahman, 19 and a 17-year-old who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act — are charged with first-degree murder.
Both appeared in court on Monday and a bail hearing for the 17-year-old is now set for Jan. 19. Crown prosecutors have said they will oppose the release.
The statement from Harnett's family says he was a kid at heart and a zest to do "anything fun with his friends, from bonfires to quading to to snowmobiling and motorcycling."
Harnett was also active in sports.
After growing up in Hagersville, Ont., Harnett joined the military police in Edmonton, before spending 12 years with the Calgary Police Service. He spent his entire career working in District 5, which his family called, "yet another demonstration of his loyalty. He loved working in one of the busiest areas of the city."
The family has also set up a trust account in Harnett’s memory at ATB Financial (account #07149-00721001979) or via electronic transfer to SgtHarnettFamily@gmail.com.
Donations can also be made to local Legion branches in Harnett’s honour.
Members of the Calgary Police Service skye boat police honour guard and members from the traffic section will escort Harnett's body from the medical examiner's officer to the funeral home. The procession will travel east on Memorial Drive from Bowness to Forest Lawn starting at about noon. Members of the public are invited to join CPS members as they line the route. All health measures must be followed and a two-metre distance maintained between attendees.
Read the family's full statement below:
The last few days have been indescribable and overwhelming. The outpouring of support you have shown us is helping to carry us through this difficult time. It is also a reflection of how many people Andrew touched and legacy of the loyalty and kindness he will leave behind.
Andrew was an incredibly loyal and giving friend. He was the type of friend that would give you the shirt off his back without question, be the first person to volunteer to help someone move, build a garage, fence or lend you his truck.
He was a kid at heart with the zest to do anything fun with his friends from bonfires, to quading, snowmobiling and motorcycling.
Andrew’s life was incredibly full of all the things he loved. He lived with no regrets and exhausted every opportunity to have a good time. His loyal group of friends bonded over the many hunting trips down to the hunt ‘shack,’ or on their annual motorcycle trip down to Wallace, Idaho.
Sports were also a passion of Andrew’s. Anyone who knew him knew he loved NFL football, specifically the Miami Dolphins (whether they were terrible or not), and he attended many of the Seattle Seahawks games. He was also a huge CFL fan, loyal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and couldn’t wait to go to the Grey Cup in Hamilton. He was a big WWE wrestling fan and could be spotted with friends acting out a wrestling promo or laying a ‘stone cold stunner’ on an unsuspecting buddy after a few beers.
Andrew was dedicated to his country and to Calgary, first joining the military police in Edmonton and then serving the City of Calgary bravely and proudly throughout his 12-year career with the Calgary Police Service. He was proud to be a ‘street officer’ and work in District 5, where he spent his whole career. Yet another demonstration of his loyalty. He loved working in one of the busiest areas of the city.
He knew the risks of the job and showed up everyday regardless. Andrew would have given everything for the police, and he did. He was passionate about his role in the community and participated in many fundraising activities through the CPS. Andrew didn’t need formal recognition for anything, but he earned the respect of those that knew him, worked with him and of his community. His two Life Saving Awards are a testimony to his dedication to going above and beyond.
Andrew was born and raised in Hagersville, Ontario, where he was surrounded by a loving family and a supportive community. It's been said before, Andrew grew up determined to be a police officer at a young age and spent his youth volunteering with Crime Stoppers while building relationships with local law enforcement. Many of these relationships have spanned a lifetime and exist today.
He took every opportunity that was provided to him to make the most of growing up in Ontario. The skills he learned from skating on the quarry, building tree forts, waterskiing at the cottage and learning survival skills with his brothers and numerous friends, stayed with him throughout his life. As a child he was a prankster and loved to wrestle with his brothers, which was great for them until he grew much bigger and stronger. Andrew was one of the strongest people you would have met. He was a loving brother, son, partner and friend. He had a passion for life that was unequalled. His two older brothers, mother and late father were, and are, immensely proud of his time in the military, and his service with the CPS.
In addition to all of the things Andrew was to everyone else, he was also an incredibly loving and supportive partner and spouse to Chelsea, who he’s shared his life with for the last seven years. Together they enjoyed traveling, vacationing, sampling the Calgary brewery scene, attending sports events with friends and had many plans for an incredible future together. Andrew and Chelsea were also expecting their first child together in the summer of 2021. Andrew couldn’t have been more excited to be a loving and dedicated father and now a piece of his legacy will live on as part of the CPS family.
The Harnett Family
In response to a number of donation requests, those wishing to provide financial support to the family can do so through a trust account that has been set up in Sgt. Harnett’s memory at ATB Financial (account #07149-00721001979) or via electronic transfer to SgtHarnettFamily@gmail.com. Donations can also be made to local Legion branches in Andrew’s honour.