Const. John W. McNutt loved being a police officer and when he was called to the Stadacona Tavern to break up a brawl on Nov. 29, 1962, it was just part of the job.
“He was grappling with a sailor and he was kneed in (the chest) and he dropped dead of a heart attack,” said Marvin McNutt of his father’s death. “He was 41.”
Yesterday the McNutt family joined many others to remember the province’s 21 fallen peace officers and dedicate a new memorial in Grand Parade.
“It’s a monument to duty, it’s a monument to courage. It’s a physical reminder of lost family members who died while working in the name of protection,” said Bob Purcell, representing the Department of Justice.
Grand Parade is a fitting spot for the memorial, said Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis, since constables were appointed on that ground in the 18th century, and there was a police station in city hall’s basement in the 1920s.
Nova Scotia is one of the last provinces to install a peace officers memorial and McNutt said it was good to see.
“It means a great deal, it really does,” he said. “It’s quite remarkable.”
During the ceremony, 21 wreaths for each of the fallen were laid at the bottom of the monument.
The first officer killed while on duty in Halifax was Const. Matthew Gardner in 1861. He died after responding to a robbery call.
The most recent was Jan. 12, 2010, when Sgt. Mark Gallagher died in the Haiti earthquake.