Sombre RCMP awards ceremony in wake of Moncton shootings
There were mixed emotions at an RCMP awards ceremony held in St. John's on Friday.
Police officers and civilian staff gathered in the gym at RCMP headquarters in St. John's to recognize outstanding community service from some of its officers, in the wake of the tragic shootings of three Moncton RCMP officers earlier this week.
A moment of silence was held to honour the slain officers in New Brunswick after the awards were presented to 28 women and men.
All of the recipients of awards had gone above and beyond in service to a community, either at home or abroad.
Staff Sgt. George Noseworthy received a peacekeeping medal for his service in Kosovo.
Supt. William Malone helped free two hostages in Somalia and now heads up a task force to combat child luring, drug and organized crimes.
Cpl. Patrick Gehue, who received two awards, recently had a stroke but trained long hours to be able to make the 25 steps it took to reach Lieutenant Governor Frank Fagan to receive his medals.
Malone said as the medal was pinned to his chest, his thoughts were elsewhere.
"Having served in New Brunswick a number of years, it was my colleagues in New Brunswick," who were on his mind, said Malone. "It's unimaginable what they've gone through in the last little while."
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Tracy Hardy said it was a difficult decision to go ahead with the awards ceremony, but decided, "we can't let evil prevail."
"Across the island and into Labrador, the community has really rallied behind the detachments," said Hardy.
"Donated cookies and coffee and flowers, and just rallied and expressed concern and support. The support has been overwhelming."