It was a tragic event.
On June 4, 2014, Moncton RCMP Constables David Ross (32), Fabrice Georges Gevaudan (45) & Douglas James Larche (40) were shot and killed in a cowardly ambush attack launched by a deranged Police hater.
The loss of the Officers was deeply felt by citizens and Police Officers of all stripes across the entire Nation. When tragedies like these occur the feelings we experience are often predictable; shock, hurt, anger, despair and helplessness.
I recall experiencing these emotions on September 11, 2001.
In the days following 9-11 my family, friends and co-workers found a way to numb the pain we were feeling.
In a word, action.
We decided to take action and do something about it.
That action translated to fund-raising efforts for donations to the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.
Last week I learned four (4) front line WPS Officer’s have been riding on that same painful emotional roller-coaster ride we rode on almost thirteen (13) years ago. Shock, hurt, anger, despair and helplessness. Interesting enough, it seems they arrived at the same place we did.
In a word, action.
They decided to take action and do something about it.
On the evening of Wednesday, June 25, 2014, several hundred Winnipeg Police Officers joined forces with RCMP members and a diverse group of supporters at the “Essence” night club at Canad Inns Garden City to take part in a fundraiser to benefit the family of our fallen brother Officers.
Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis attended the event as did Winnipeg Police Association Vice President George VanMackelbergh and RCMP Chief Superintendent Scott Kolody. Winnipeg radio icon Ace Burpee graciously donated his time and flawlessly executed his duties as the Master of Ceremonies.
The gathering reminded me of one truth that’s common in all forms of disaster, devastation or loss.
It was RCMP Chief Superintendent Scott Kolody who drove that point home when he addressed the crowd with his emotional words of appreciation and expressions of gratitude directed towards the young Officer’s who organized the event. Kolody’s message was steadfast and true, although our hearts and spirits may have been broken by the senseless loss, the common bonds that unite the Law Enforcement family will never be broken.
Tragedies like this remind us of the danger inherent in our profession.
Tragedies like this only prove to make us stronger.
Tragedies like this unite us and bring us closer together.
When I woke up Thursday morning I received an email message from one of the fine young Officers involved in planning and organizing the event. With a tremendous sense of pride and gratitude he reported fundraising efforts were expected to approach the $50,000.00. mark.
Ultimately, it’s the message the Officers are sending with the donation that holds the true value.
“You are not alone, we feel your pain, you are part of our family and we care about you!”
That message is priceless.