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Thousands of police officers participated in officer's funeral

Police officers from across North America were in southern Ontario this morning to attend the funeral of an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer who died in the line of duty last week.

Thousands of people joined Greg Pierzchala's family at Sadlon Arena in Barrie, including members of the OPP, other police services and first responders, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and officials, including Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who thanked the family for the fallen officer's service:

Nothing can erase your pain, no one can understand your loss, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your son and brother with us. The province and the people for whom he bravely served will never forget his sacrifice, neither will we forget what you have sacrificed. I want to thank each and every member of the Ontario Police Services, I am so sorry for your pain, we all join you in your grief and mourn with you for losing one of your own.

An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 officers, including some from the U.S., turned out today to honor the 28-year-old fallen officer.

The private service began at 11 a.m. Around 9:15 a.m., police officers began marching in the pouring rain with hundreds of service members lined up along Bayview Avenue to honor the funeral procession as it passed.

Members of the public were invited to watch the procession as it moved from Adams Funeral Home to the arena. Members of the community showed up and lined the streets to pay their respects despite the cold and wet weather.

Pierzchala, a former provincial legislature constable and member of the Armed Forces, was killed in what police called an "ambush" attack after he responded to a call of a vehicle in a ditch west of Hagersville, Ontario on Dec. 27.

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