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'Well done, Rick. We love you': Fallen B.C. RCMP officer remembered at regimental funeral

Thousands gathered to pay respects to fallen B.C. RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien at a regimental funeral Wednesday, remembering the former teacher for his humour, compassion and dedication to public service.

Fellow officers and other first responders travelled from across Canada and the United States to attend the service at the Langley Events Centre, sharing tears and a few moments of laughter as O'Brien's loved ones recalled some of their favourite memories from his life.

The most heartbreaking remarks came from his wife, Nicole Longacre-O'Brien, who thanked her departed husband for being such a warm and welcoming father to the three children she brought to their relationship.

"I always knew you were my gift from the universe – exactly what me and the kids needed," she wrote, in a eulogy delivered by family friend Stephanie Porter.

"I loved loving you."

Longacre-O'Brien also revealed the couple had been planning a romantic getaway before his life was tragically cut short last month, at the age of 51, when he was shot while executing a search warrant in Coquitlam.

"We were jumping on a plane to paradise for 11 days," Longacre-O’Brien wrote. "Here I am instead, sending you off to a different kind of paradise, one that I was never prepared for."

Colleagues also remembered O'Brien as a man who teased and joked with his fellow officers, but who took his duties and responsibilities seriously, particularly those involving society's less-fortunate.

"I have numerous memories of Rick standing at my desk, chatting. When a file would be dispatched with some sort of vulnerable victim involved, he would hardly wait for the dispatcher to be done talking (before taking the case)," said Cpl. Pete Westra.

Westra, who met O'Brien as his field trainer before the two became friends, said O'Brien was also fond of visiting students and young people on his own time, eagerly sharing with them his vision of law enforcement.

An RCMP officer wipes tears during a regimental funeral for RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien in Langley, B.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Others recounted the day that O'Brien, after getting off work, spotted a structure fire and rushed to help.

"He didn't require a uniform to take on the responsibility of serving his community," said Cpl. Dan LeCLaire, who was the best man at O'Brien's wedding.

Two separate speakers – including one of the deceased's siblings, Cindy Niezen – felt compelled to reference O'Brien's love for passing gas during their eulogies.

"Rick enjoyed cracking them off whenever and wherever," Niezen said to laugher from the crowd. "Yeah, I'm going there. I swear, he would intentionally eat spicy foods, as well as dairy products, to enhance the fragrance."

Everyone involved in the service – which was attended by some 5,000 people, including local officials and uniformed officers – described O'Brien's death as a devastating loss to the community.

"It was too early, and it was senseless. It will be felt by his family, friends, the entire Ridge Meadows detachment, the RCMP, and the countless lives that he touched," said Westra. "We can't say enough, but we can say: Well done, Rick. We love you."

A child wearing an RCMP costume salutes the funeral procession for Const. Rick O'Brien in Langley, B.C., on Oct. 4, 2023.

Prior to the funeral, mourners lined the streets of Langley under cloudy grey skies to pay tribute to the fallen officer.

Some 3,000 uniformed officers were involved in the procession down 202A Street, marching alongside O'Brien's hearse towards the Langley Events Centre.

Many supporters watching from the sidelines donned red attire, including a young child in an RCMP costume, who saluted O'Brien as the hearse passed.

The eulogies were followed by a performance by the RCMP's "E" Division Pipe Band, a moment of silence, and a benediction by Ridge Meadows RCMP Chaplain Greg Dalman, before the service concluded with a final salute. Top Stories


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