A Toronto police officer who died in a crash while responding to a call was remembered Monday as a popular, caring young man who loved helping and protecting others.
Thousands of officers marched in a long procession to the memorial for Const. John Zivcic, including members of the Toronto force, RCMP, provincial police and many other forces from throughout the province and beyond.
Bagpipes played as the 34-year-old officer's casket was carried inside a packed hall at the Toronto Congress Centre.
Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley was among the first to pay tribute to Zivcic as a brave officer who gave his life in his service to the people of the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne also spoke, calling Zivcic ``one of our best'' who served ``proudly and selflessly'' as he took on the job of protecting the public.
Toronto police Chief Bill Blair described him as ``a very fine young man'' who was generous and compassionate, adding that his heart and other organs were donated to others after his death.
``The tragedy of John's passing has meant new hope for several families and saved several lives and I would hope that we would all be inspired by the Zivcic family's example.''
The officer's brother, Tom Zivcic, delivered an emotional eulogy that recalled their years growing up together, and their deep bond as adults. He also spoke about his brother's desire to help others.
``It is comforting to our family that somewhere out there John's heart will continue to beat,'' he said, referring to the donation of his brother's organs.
``John was truly an angel sent from God. He was given a gift and that gift was shared with all that knew him. He tried to bring happiness to all of our lives. He gave strength to our family and was the rock that always kept us together.''
Zivcic was responding to an emergency call about an impaired driver on Nov. 30 when his police cruiser collided with another vehicle.
He died of his injuries in hospital two days later. The woman driving the other vehicle was treated for minor injuries.
You can WATCH the funeral service here:
The officer’s family has planned a private funeral in St. Catherines on Thursday.