‘It brings a little bit of closure:’ Officers from Halifax, province attend RCMP funeral

Published on June 11, 2014
RCMP officers march in the funeral procession on their way to the regimental funeral for three slain RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B., Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
The Canadian Press/Marc Grandmaison

HALIFAX - The emotional funeral of three Moncton RCMP officers killed in a shooting last week brought home the importance of recognizing how precious life is and “how we have to be able to enjoy it as best we can,” said Halifax’s police chief.

Chief Jean-Michel Blais was amongst the hundreds of Halifax police officers and Nova Scotia RCMP who marched in the funeral procession for Const. David Ross, Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and Const. Douglas James Larche Tuesday afternoon before attending the memorial at the Moncton Coliseum.

“As a police officer I knew that this would be … the tougher of the two weeks,” Blais said after the funeral.

The Mounties were killed while responding to a report of a man with firearms in a residential area of Moncton last Wednesday. Two other officers were injured.

Blais said police were on “autopilot” last week doing what their training taught them, but now “you don’t have that training.”

“How can you prepare yourself to say goodbye to somebody? To see a fatherless child as they’re being carried, and they have really no idea … who their father really was,” he said.

Both Blais and Nova Scotia RCMP spokesman Sgt. Alain LeBlanc said the comments made by New Brunswick RCMP assistant commissioner Roger Brown were very moving.

LeBlanc said “the most poignant moment” for him came when Brown dismissed all three fallen officers to their final post.

“I think it brings a little bit of closure,” LeBlanc said after the funeral.

Blais said that seeing the children and wives of the Mounties accept a hug from Brown made him appreciate his own family “even more.”

“These moments make us realize how precious life is, and how we have to be able to enjoy it as best we can,” said Blais.