Amherstburg Gym Holds Memorial Workout For Fallen Officer

It's been 12-years since Constable John Atkinson was shot and killed in the line of duty and an Amherstburg gym is honouring him the way he would have wanted, by working hard.

Garage Gym owner Tony Smith says the husband and father of two, "was known for his work ethic and his smile and his positive attitude around the station." 

On May 5, 2006 Atkinson was filling up a Windsor Police Service vehicle at a gas station located at Pillette Rd. and Seminole St. when he saw what he believed to be a drug deal taking place in a parking lot. When he approached two men one produced a weapon and fired; despite sustaining a wound that would prove fatal he returned fire before falling to the pavement.

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AM800 file photo of Senior Constable John Atkinson

Every year the 6744 workout designed in Atkinson's honour combines Bench-press, dead lift, and cardio exercises — the catch — the gym adds another round of reps to show the same heart Atkinson displayed every year.

Smith has served as a constable in Windsor for 18-years and Atkinson was part of his and many other officers transition into policing.

"He was one of the first people I met when I came into the police station when I got hired because he was with an AKO Fratmen [Football Team] alum and I played AKO," he says. "He'd just check in randomly when we'd see each other in the gym downstairs at headquarters ... I think he had that kind of relationship with a lot of people around the station."

Smith took some time to tell stories about Atkinson between reps, and to send a reminder everyone about how precious life really is.

"Take every day as one day and to not get tied down by the idea that some of these things we create stress with are really not that bad," he says. “Just enjoy every moment and make sure you love all your relationships and make the most out of them."

More than 170 people made it through the 6744 workout at the gym's Amherstburg and Kingsville locations.