Editor's note: The following is a message from Assistant Commissioner Roger L. Brown, commanding officer for RCMP New Brunswick:
The past week and a half has been a roller coaster of emotions. The heartache all started when word was received that Dave, Doug and Fabrice had been killed while simply doing their job, and news that Darlene and Eric had also been shot and injured. Then there was the fear in the community as we searched for the shooter; a search that paralyzed Moncton for nearly 30 hours. Next, a sense of relief when the suspect was captured. The morning after he was captured, children were on the streets with signs on their bikes saying, 'Thank you RCMP'. It was a sense of calm in what had been a far different picture several hours before. The simple message those children delivered spread throughout the community, across Canada and the world.
Informing our members and employees, residents of New Brunswick and Canadians everywhere that we lost three of our own, whom I described as incredible members of the RCMP, was the hardest thing I've had to do since becoming the Commanding Officer of the RCMP in New Brunswick.
Receiving the support shown to us and our families by the public was crucial in helping us get us through our darkest hours. The overwhelming display of sympathy and compassion that I saw while at the Codiac detachment is beyond words. Walking in front of the detachment and seeing it transformed into a community memorial to our three fallen members left me overwhelmed. People whom I had never met, some from New Brunswick and others from far away coming up to me and saying thank you and giving me a hug. Every member of the RCMP can tell you a similar story. While it's usually our job to look after the community, this time the community looked after us.
Tragic events such as this opens up a door for the entire world to see who we really are; what it means to devote one's self to a greater good -- to put the welfare of others beyond your own. Some people may never understand what it means to be part of something that is much larger than one's self; but I believe that anyone who witnessed the extraordinary show of support at this past Tuesday's funeral now has a greater sense of this.
The RCMP could not have provided the honourable tribute to our fallen three that we saw on Tuesday without help. To name everyone who helped would fill a newspaper. The list it seems is never ending of people who gave and offered whatever was needed. Thank you to you all.
As I stated at the funeral, we have over 1200 employees in New Brunswick; 1200 dedicated individuals who work hard to make sure we continue to have a safe and secure province. The strength and dedication they demonstrated during this tragedy has been stellar and they did their fallen colleagues proud. I am so proud of them. I only wish I had the opportunity to tell Dave, Doug and Fabrice that myself.
Dave, Doug and Fabrice worked hard and made a difference in their communities during the short time that we were blessed to have had them with us. I can assure you that the RCMP employees here in New Brunswick who will carry on to serve you, will never forget your kindness.
I want to thank you for your continued support.