'Eric Czapnik Way,' honouring the late officer
A road in Orleans has been given a new name in honour of Eric Czapnik, a fallen Ottawa Police officer who died in the line of duty on December 29, 2009.
"Cst. Eric Czapnik made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of his duties as a police officer and for that, we honour him,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The street commemorative naming program recognizes those who have demonstrated courage and excellence in their service to our community, and Cst. Czapnik is an example of this.”
The roadway located beside the Ottawa Police station at 3343 St. Joseph Boulevard was named ‘Eric Czapnik Way.’
The Czapnik family said this is part of their healing process.
“Every time we pass this street, we’ll remember not the tragedy but the character of a man that put others before himself,” said Lukasz Galazka, Czapnik’s son.
"I truly hope they will know who Eric Czpnik is and if they don’t that they try to figure out who he was and what he did for the City of Ottawa,” said Anna Korutowska, Czapnik’s widow.
“Eric Czapnik Way should remind everyone of the risks officers take each day in order to serve our Community,” said Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, Chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board. “It’s befitting that the street named after him is situated next to one of the buildings where Eric worked with such pride and professionalism.”
“The dedication of Eric Czapnik Way is intended to memorialize his life, not his death, for it was in life where Eric was a true hero,” said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau. “He was a proud father, loving husband and exemplary police officer. Although his memory will never leave our hearts and minds, today we have the opportunity to pay him a most deserving homage.”
Constable Ireneusz “Eric” Czapnik (1958-2009), was a member of the Ottawa Police Service who was fatally stabbed while on duty, in the early morning of December 29, 2009 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.
Eric immigrated to Ottawa, Ontario from Warsaw, Poland in 1990. At 19, he joined the Polish Army to perform one year of mandatory service. Once he completed his service, he worked for seven years with Warsaw Aircraft Enterprise as an aircraft mechanic. He later resided in Greece for two years, where he worked in construction.
In 1990, Eric immigrated to Canada. He settled in Ottawa, where he worked at Johnson’s Business Interiors for 16 years.
Eric joined the Ottawa Police on April 10, 2007 at the age of 48. In doing so, Eric realized his life-time dream of becoming a police officer and followed in his father’s footsteps, who served as a police officer in Warsaw for 30 years.
Eric was assigned to patrol in the East Division, where he enjoyed interacting with the public and serving the community.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr.