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Waterloo regional police investigating missing memorial plaques

Mark Gage and Cst. David Nicholson passed away in August 1998. Mark Gage and Cst. David Nicholson passed away in August 1998.
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Waterloo regional police have launched an investigation into missing memorial plaques, including one that honoured the life of a fallen police officer.

Police said they are not sure when the plaques disappeared from the Cambridge area, but it likely happened within the last few weeks.

One of the missing plaques commemorated the life of Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) Constable David Nicholson and a 12-year-old boy he tried to save.

Nicholson was killed in 1998. He was part of an underwater team searching for a young boy, Mark Gage, at Parkhill Dam. Police believe Nicholson found the boy, but was sucked into a sluiceway and pinned. Nicholson’s lifeline snapped as more than 50 first responders and bystanders tried to pull him to safety. Both Nicholson and the boy drowned.

Nicholson was the first police officer in WRPS’s history to die in the line of duty. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Bravery and the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery.

A WRPS statement regarding the incident said: “The theft of memorial plaques is deeply troubling, disappointing and, understandably, very upsetting to the community.

Many local residents remember the tragedy that unfolded that day when Constable David Nicholson made the ultimate sacrifice in attempts to save Mark Gage. Stealing a plaque that honours their lives – and any plaque honouring the lives of other local residents – is disrespectful and appalling. We want to assure the community that we are investigating and ask anyone with information or any video footage to please contact us.”

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