A memorial stone, located near an intersection where a horrible tragedy took place on May 14, 2006, provided the space for approx. 80 people to gather on a chilly Saturday, May 14th, 2016. The date marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Constable Donald Doucet, who was a 12 year veteran with Sault Ste. Marie Police Services.
The intersection of Black Road and McNabb Street was the scene of the crime on May 14th, 2006. A crime that left one police officer with fatal injuries and another with serious trauma. Constable(s) Doucet and Freeman’s police cruiser was struck by an impaired driver.
“Every year for the last ten years, since the accident, we have come together for a little memorial service. It’s been important to have these reminders.” said Const. Henry Jin, Sault Ste. Marie Police Services, and close friend of Constable Don Doucet.
In reflecting upon the weather that swooped in on Saturday, Constable Jin said, “Anyone who knows Don Doucet, knows that he was the ultimate practical joker. I’m sure he’s looking down right now and he’s got a big smile on his face.”
Donald’s father Louis Doucet shared words about how the legacy of his son, continues to be carried in the hearts and minds of his family and friends. “It’s been a long ten years.” he said. “I want to thank everybody who has continued to support our family.” He acknowledged that the annual May 14th gathering has provided his family with a measure of comfort amid the sorrow that continues for him and his dear hearts. Louis Doucet said that he will continue to tend to the plants and grass around the memorial stone that honours his son. He encouraged folks to continue to visit the site and stop for quiet introspection. “Don’t be shy. Come by. Sit down; for even five minutes over the summer. You never know, we might see each other, and can have a little chat.”
Debbie Doucet, thanked the community for all of the things that have taken place; places and spaces that have come to be called after her late husband. “Everything has been appreciated by our family. All of the things that have come to represent Don. It’s beautiful.” she said.
The Donald Doucet Memorial Scholarship, which was created in 2007 to help post-secondary students studying policing and law-related majors has offered financial assistance in the amount of $43,000. Various events throughout the year are held to support the scholarship, including the Donald Doucet Charity Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament will be held on Sept. 8th, at Crimson Ridge.
The Donald Doucet Youth Detention Centre opened in 2008 on Great Northern Road, near the OPP Station. There is a bridge named in his honour over the Root River, on Highway 17 leading north from Sault Ste. Marie.
This year will mark the last annual memorial service at the Black Road & McNabb St. memorial stone location. Jerry Lazoryk, St. Mary’s St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Pastor and city police chaplain, shared a Reflection with the assembled family, friends and colleagues of Const. Donald Doucet.
“This gathering is a symbol that we care about life; about people; about each other and our city. To be there for one another. We come together to honour Don’s life, and to hold up his life as a beacon to others; That life is precious, and we must do everything we can to protect that life.” shared Jerry Lazoryk.
A memorial page for Constable Donald Doucet can be found here.