Winnipeg police and Manitoba Mounties are in Moncton, N.B., to pay their respects to three officers killed in the line of duty last week.
Dave Thorne, deputy chief of the Winnipeg Police Service, is there with three officers from the WPS. They are joined by seven Manitoba RCMP officers, including assistant commissioner Kevin Brosseau and Staff Sgt-Maj. Wayne Foster.
- WATCH LIVE | Moncton Mounties' funeral
The other five RCMP members — serving in Winnipeg, Steinbach and Portage la Prairie — are not being identified but each has a connection to at least one of the fallen officers or to New Brunswick, a Manitoba RCMP spokesperson said.
In all, thousands of RCMP officers and other law enforcement officers from across Canada will attend the regimental funeral for constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, Dave Joseph Ross, 32, and Douglas James Larche, 40.
Justin Bourque, 24, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the fatal shootings.
Bourque, who was arrested following a two-day manhunt, will remain in custody and is scheduled to return to court on July 3.
Wreaths laid in Winnipeg
Meanwhile in Winnipeg, RCMP held a memorial in front of their Manitoba headquarters at D Division on Portage Avenue.
More than 100 people watched as Mounties in the traditional red serge laid a wreath at the memorial for fallen officers.
Chief Supt. Scott Kolody says it means a lot for his members — many of whom have a connection to those in Moncton — to see the public paying tribute to the fallen officers.
"The very people that we serve and protect, that are lining the streets to show police that sign of support, that is what really, really hits you hard and really hits home," he said. “Any time we lose a member it really hits you to the core.”
Kolody said in the midst of the manhunt in Moncton last week, members of the Winnipeg Police Service lined up in front of the D Division headquarters to show their support.
"You have a weak moment and you choke up, and there's no words to describe that. Our partners with the Winnipeg Police Service have been absolutely tremendous," he said. “People that are officers serve and protect every day the citizens of Manitoba. To see them here, supporting us at this time, is overwhelming.”
Assistant commissioner Kevin Brosseau’s wife Krista attended the memorial in Winnipeg while her husband attended the service in Moncton, N.B.
“When something like this happens, it really brings back what it’s like when you have a family member that puts their life on the line,” she said. “I think the RCMP family takes it very personally when something like this happens, and we tend to come together to support each other.”
Debbie Asselstine is an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police. She brought her family to the service in Winnipeg to pay their respects.
“It really hits home. [It] makes you appreciate what you have,” she said.
A book of condolence is set up in the foyer at D Division that members of the public are welcome to sign. Condolences can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.