KENTVILLE - The officer in charge of the Kings RCMP wants the community to know how grateful she is for their support after the shooting deaths of three police officers in Moncton earlier this month.
© Submitted photo
A small portion of the gifts, cards, flowers and candles received by the Kings RCMP.
âWeâre just in awe of the support that weâre getting. Weâre really feeling the respect of the citizens of Kings County,â Insp. Chris MacNaughton said. Gifts, cards and flowers are still arriving at the Kingston, Wolfville and New Minas detachments.
âStudents from various schools in Kings County have taken the time â each student - to make homemade cards,â she said, adding junior and high school students also baked for the officers and staff.
âOne lady made a gorgeous cushion for one of our chairs,â MacNaughton said.
âWe do admire each and every gift. When we see (people) coming from their cars with gifts, we have them come into the office and we talk with them.â
Officers and employees at the detachments are touched by the public support, she said.
â(Weâre) at times very emotional over the response weâve received.â
From the gifts and cards to the two teenagers who raised funds for the Fallen Members fund to the New Minas churchthat opened its doors to RCMP members during the broadcast of the funeral, MacNaughton said the response is âoverwhelming and appreciated.
âYou feel a lot,â she said of the shootings and the community response, âbut youâre just speechless.â
Espirit de Corps
âWhen it comes to tragedies, the camaraderie comes through very, very strong,â MacNaughton said of the Mounties.
After the June 4 shootings, three local officers - constables Andy McLellan, Mirko Marcovic and Nick McLean â headed to New Brunswick to help out. The trio helped search for the suspect, for evidence after his arrest and served policing shifts relief for the Codiac RCMP officers who were all given leave for two weeks after the deaths of their colleagues.
âMy first impression from speaking with them is that they were very pleased to have gone over there to help their colleagues,â MacNaughton said.
âThey felt very fortunate that they had the opportunity to go and to help,â she said, during âa very difficult time for our colleagues there and the citizens of Moncton.â
âIncluding myself, we had approximately 35 RCMP officers from Kings District who went on their own time. We were present,â MacNaughton said.
âWe go above and beyond to be there at regimental funerals. Itâs supportâŠ This could happen here in Kings District. Itâs devastating to us and our colleagues. We have very heartfelt emotions and we want to be there for our fallen colleagues and their families.â
A time of reflection
Kings RCMP officers wonât change how they respond to calls, MacNaughton said.
âOur officers are always cognizant of public safety and officer safetyâŠ we have very strong supports so that we have the right equipment.â
However, it is a time of reflection for officers and their families, she said.
âWe respect the fact that weâre in a very high risk job; our Mounties, when they leave their homes, they might not come back if they go to an unfortunate call (like the one) that these three fallen members went to in Moncton,â she said.
âOur Mounties and our employees, this has affected them greatly.â
In light of this, it isnât just flowers and cookies that are gracing the tables of the New Minas RCMP detachment.
âWe also have three candles in the office with the pictures and the condolence books,â MacNaughton said. âWe donât want this to fade away quickly. We want to keep the time of reflection for our employees right now.
âWe hope this tragedy never happens again.â