‘A really good friend’: Family, friends gather to remember Sgt. Andrew Harnett

CALGARY — A small-scale regimental funeral for Sgt. Andrew Harnett, the Calgary police officer who was killed during a traffic stop on New Year’s Eve, will be held Saturday afternoon.

Officials say that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the gathering, which begins at 1 p.m., will be limited to family, close friends and police colleagues.

Even though such services are not allowed under the current provincial health guidelines, Alberta Health Services granted an exemption to allow 50 people attend.

The ceremony will not be shared publicly, but a formal procession afterwards will be livestreamed.

A pair of CF-18 Hornets from 410 Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., will conduct a flypast for the memorial service at about 3 p.m.

Harnett died on Dec. 31, 2020, when he was run over while at a traffic stop in the northeast community of Falconridge.

Calgary police, officer killed, Calgary, Amir Abdu

In the hours following his death, Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld, who knew Harnett personally, said he was a decorated officer who won at least two Chief’s Awards for saving lives.

“A family has lost a son, a sibling has lost a brother, a spouse has lost a partner and many, many members of our service have lost a really good friend,” he said.

Two suspects, 19-year-old Amir Abdulrahman and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, have been charged with first-degree murder in his death.

Both suspects turned themselves in to police approximately a day after the incident took place.

Crown prosecutors are opposing a bail application for the youth, but a judge had not yet made a decision.

Balfour Der, counsel for Abdulrahman, said it’s too early to say if he will seek bail for his client, the passenger inside the vehicle involved in the crash.

Those proceedings have been adjourned for a month so that Der can review the evidence.

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