Saskatchewan honours its fallen police and peace officers

Police and peace officers marched in the annual service to remember fallen officers in Saskatchewan on Sunday.

The family of an RCMP constable killed in 2012 were among those to lay a wreath

Crowds watched as police and peace officers marched onto the legislature grounds to begin Sunday's ceremony. (Stephanie Taylor/CBC Saskatchewan)

Natasha Pineo says her husband Derek had wanted to be a police officer his entire life.

He joined the RCMP in August 2007 and was dedicated to the job, she says.

"He was a very outgoing, funny person," Pineo said.

Const. Derek Pineo joined the RCMP in 2007 and died in 2012. (RCMP)

"He'd loved Saskatchewan so much he moved us all the way out here from Nova Scotia."

But it was in Saskatchewan where her husband died at 38 when the police vehicle he was driving hit a moose on a highway near Wilkie, Sask..

'I don't want anybody to be here'

On Sunday, Pineo and her three children, Kayleb, 15, Novalea, 17 and Ocean, 6, laid a wreath at the annual national memorial for fallen police and peace officers in Saskatchewan.

The Pineos lost their husband and father, Derek, in a tragic highway crash in 2012. (Stephanie Taylor/CBC Saskatchewan)

They also rode in the parade down Albert Street before the ceremony began at the Saskatchewan legislature.

Pineo and her children, who live in Fall River, N.S., were able to attend because of fundraising efforts started by Weyburn, Sask. Const. Jeffrey Bartsch. He created a GoFundMe drive to pay for their travel costs.

"My kids obviously don't want to be here. I don't want anybody to be here, but it's an honour to be here in honour of my husband and their dad and all the members that are still alive today," said Pineo.

During the ceremony, officials read aloud the names of fallen police officers, RCMP members, corrections and conservation officers in Saskatchewan who died while on the job.

'The least we can do'

In the lead-up to Sunday's event, a number of officers participated in the Ride to Remember cycling event, where they biked the more than 450 kilometres from Prince Albert, Sask. to Regina.

Among the participants was Kayleb Pineo who, despite batting off physical exhaustion and a sore leg, said it offered him a chance to reflect on why he was riding.

"It's honestly the least we can do for all these organizations and all these people that give their lives for us and what the officers do for us daily, putting their lives in jeopardy for the protection of random people that they don't even know," the teen said.

Ceremony hits home

Cara Petrovicz's husband serves with the Saskatoon police and also participated in the ride, as well as marched in Sunday's procession.

She said she knows policing is her husband's calling in life, but seeing the Pineo's in the crowd was emotional.

"It really kind of hit home," said Petrovicz.

"We try to be strong and it's all fine when he goes to work, but seeing that family today, yeah, that kind of hit home."

Officers in formation at the annual national memorial for fallen police and peace officers in Saskatchewan. (Stephanie Taylor/CBC)

Retired federal correctional officer Vince Streukens was among the crowd of dozens who watched the ceremony.

He's attended the service for a number of years, and said with each year the number of attendees grows.

"These people we honour today gave up everything," he said, choking up.

"So we could have the country that we have today to live in."

About the Author

Stephanie Taylor

Reporter, CBC Saskatchewan

Stephanie Taylor is a reporter based in Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC News in Regina, she covered municipal politics in her hometown of Winnipeg and in Halifax. Reach her at