Police officers from across the province came to Victoria on Sunday for the annual B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony just days after the murder of RCMP Const. Rick O’Brien.
On Sept. 22, O’Brien and Ridge Meadow RCMP officers became engaged in an altercation with a man in Coquitlam, which led to the death of O’Brien.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers, family members and dignitaries gathered on the lawn of the B.C. legislature to remember those lost in the line of duty.
B.C.’s Solicitor General Mike Farnworth was at the event, remembering O’Brien and previous fallen officers.
“This past Friday, we lost another colleague in Coquitlam. To the family and friends of Constable Rick O’Brien and the Coquitlam and Ridge Meadow detachments, we are deeply saddened by your measurable loss,” said Farnsworth.
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Toward the end of the memorial, young officers just starting their careers were asked to name all officers who died in B.C. since 1859. Cpl. Anthony Arcaone from the Canadian Armed Forces was honoured to be a part of the ceremony to remember those who passed.
“It brings me pride to be able to do this work,” said Aracone.
“This line of work isn’t for everyone, and to be able to go out there and work as a police officer and to remember these officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, unfortunately, it just brings me pride to be a part of that community.”
The memorial comes shy of one year after Burnaby RCMP Const. Shaylen Yang was fatally stabbed while attempting to save a homeless man’s life.
Deputy Commissioner and Commanding BC RCMP Officer Dwayne Macdonald wants the public to know that despite the loss, it does not stop him and his comrades from protecting the public and doing the job they love.
“We’re here for you, and we are here to keep you safe,” added Macdonald.
“For the officers that are here and those that weren’t able to make it cause they are on duty, they need to know that we as police leaders support them too.”
The emotional ceremony ended with the sound of a mourning trumpet, honorary rifle shots and the laying of wreaths to honour the lost officers.