A private funeral service was held in Nelson, B.C., on Wednesday for an police officer who died in an avalanche.
On Jan. 9, Nelson police Const. Wade Tittemore died after being caught in an avalanche near Kalso in B.C.’s West Kootenay Region.
A second officer, Const. Mathieu Nolet, was critically injured and remains in an intensive care unit at a local area hospital, police said.
Family and friends gathered on Wednesday at the Capital Theatre in Nelson, B.C. to pay respects to the fallen officer.
Speeches from his family and friends were heard, including from his sister, Nicole.
“Once you were one of Wade’s people — he became fun, goofy, absurd, and just a joy to be around,“ she said.
“Wade was more than a brother to me. He was someone I could talk to without any judgement. Wade didn’t just have my back, he had my side.“
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be sent to the Nelson Police Foundation or the established GoFundMe page which was created to aid Tittemore’s family and Nolet’s recovery.
City officials said Nolet is making progress in his recovery,
“He is making incremental progress, but has a long road ahead in his recovery,” city staff said in an email.
In a previous statement, the city and police said Const. Tittemore “was a valued member of the Nelson City Police for over four years.”
(He) was an avid backcountry enthusiast who loved skiing, hiking, and backpacking. He moved to Nelson from Calgary, where he served with the Calgary Police Service for 11 years. (He) has a wife and two sons.”
Both officers were skiing off-duty when the avalanche occurred, the Nelson Police Board said.
They had previously ridden snowmobiles to the area before getting on skis.
“Nelson is one of the smallest municipal police forces in Canada, and we are like one big family. The impact of the death of Constable Tittemore has a profound effect on the force and our community,” Chief Donovan Fisher said in a release. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family.”
Supports are in place through the City of Nelson and the Nelson Police Department to assist grieving employees and their families.
The public is invited to email their condolences to Tittemore’s family at email@example.com.
Previously, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth gave his condolences for the tragic event.
“On behalf of all British Columbians, we send our deepest condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts are also with the officer who was critically injured, and we wish them well as they begin to recover.
“We want to thank the agencies and first responders who have helped with the rescue operation. As always, they stepped up quickly to help, and we thank them for their efforts.
“This is a tremendous loss for Nelson and for policing in British Columbia, and we are here to support the Nelson Police Department and the City of Nelson in this difficult time.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that Matheiu Nolet was a B.C. RCMP constable. In fact, he was a constable with the Nelson police. Global News regrets the error.
— with files from The Canadian Press and Global BC’s Elizabeth McSheffrey and Simon Little