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'A hero remembered never dies': Memorial honouring fallen police officers held in Victoria

Emotions were raw as hundreds gathered at the B.C. Legislature Sunday afternoon to honour the police officers who were killed in the line of duty.

The grim reality of the risks officers take on every day was made especially clear when a Ridge Meadows RCMP officer was killed on the job just two days before the annual BC Law Enforcement Memorial.

“Today, as you know, is particularly difficult, heartbreaking already knowing that at next year’s memorial we will be adding another name: Const. Rick O’Brien, murdered senselessly on Friday,” said Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, the commanding officer of the B.C. RCMP.

O’Brien and two other officers were in Coquitlam executing a search warrant as part of a drug investigation in Maple Ridge. The two officers were wounded and have since been released from hospital.

Nicholas Bellemare, 25, is now facing a first-degree murder charge and a charge of attempted murder with a firearm.

“The RCMP is hurting today. We’re grieving the loss of two of our members in the course of a year.”

Last October, Const. Shaelyn Yang was stabbed to death while attempting to save a man in a tent in a Burnaby park.

“We recognize those who gave their lives to protect all of ours,” said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “Today’s memorial reminds us of all the risks and challenges all our enforcement officers face protecting their communities.”

Speakers at the memorial remind attendees that officers are more than their uniforms.

“They are fathers, mothers, daughters and sons. They are community coaches, mentors, neighbours and friends,” said Doug Forsdick, provincial director of adult custody division with BC Corrections. “They leave behind families united by grief that few of us will ever be able to understand.”

Over the past 12 months, 13 law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the country. Their names have been added to an honour roll.

“Your exceptional turnout today clearly demonstrates your individual and collective commitment to ensuring the services and sacrifices of our fallen officers will never be forgotten. For a hero remembered never dies,” said Deputy Chief Const. Robert Warren with the Saanich Police Department.

While Const. O’Brien was on everyone’s mind in Victoria and at the national memorial in Ottawa, his name will officially be added to the honour roll next year. Top Stories

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