The commanding officer of the RCMP in New Brunswick is calling on the public to continue to honour the legacy of three Mounties who were killed by a gunman in Moncton five years ago.
Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Dave Ross and Doug Larche were killed and constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were wounded when Justin Bourque targeted police officers in hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.
Assistant commissioner Larry Tremblay said no one will forget the fear and loss of that day or the strength and support shown by the people of Moncton and New Brunswick.
“There are days when they seem so close, when the grief and loss seem as fresh as that terrible day,” Tremblay wrote in an article distributed to media. “Other days it feels as though it’s been so long without them, so long since we were all changed and redefined by the experiences of June 4, 2014.”
Tremblay said every frontline specialist who responded that night did so with professionalism and commitment.
“We will never forget the fear and loss of that day, but we will also never forget the way the community came together, the resilience and courage shown by New Brunswickers, and the way they opened their hearts to support us and each other in our hour of need.”
During the search for the gunman, residents of the area were told to stay in their homes and were asked to turn their porch lights on. Porch lights lit up across the city and beyond as a show of solidarity.
Tremblay said that show of support, along with the flood of flowers, cards, balloons and simple gestures of “thank-you” helped the police community get through a very difficult time.
He says people can honour the legacy of the officers by looking out for each other and helping keep the community safe.
A monument with statues of the three officers at the Honour Garden in Moncton’s Riverfront Park is a lasting reminder of the dedication of the three men as officers, husbands and fathers.
The RCMP was ordered to pay $550,000 for failing to properly arm and train its members for a possible shooting rampage.
Carbine rifles were not available to general duty officers at the time of the Moncton shootings, and during a trial on Canada Labour Code charges, several witnesses said they could have made a difference. The high-powered carbines were approved in 2011, but their rollout was delayed on several occasions.