Family and friends of a young Mountie killed in Nunavut remembered him as an exemplary member of the RCMP who wanted to be a police officer since he was a boy.
Const. Doug Scott, 20, was shot and killed in the Baffin Island hamlet of Kimmirut late Monday after responding to an impaired driving complaint.
His uncle, Kingston police Staff Sgt. Chris Scott, struggled to maintain his composure as he spoke to reporters Tuesday outside the Lyn, Ont., home of the slain Mountie's parents.
"I've been told by my colleagues in the RCMP that they send the best of the best North because they know it's an isolated posting," Scott said.
"They know they have to have dedicated officers who can think on their feet. That's what they had in Dougie."
Scott said while his nephew was well-trained, he was also excited and apprehensive when he received the posting last spring.
"You know, it's tough for a young officer. They've got a lot to learn, especially in an isolated posting. But he had good training. We're proud of everything he accomplished," he said.
Scott said his nephew, who wanted to bea police officer since he was about 10,was scheduled to return home in two weeks— his first visit back in many months.
Funeral plans haven't been arranged, but a service could take place next week.
School remembers Mountie
The flag at Thousand Island Secondary School in nearby Brockville, Ont.,flew at half-mast Tuesday after staff at the school learned of the death of their former student.
Principal Arlie Kirkland saidstaff were just trying to absorb the information that a student who held so much promise was gone.
"I thought he was an extremely personable young man, was well respected by staff and students, and I know he had great aspirations to be a police officer," said Kirkland.
Teacher Anne McMillan said Scott was an unusually young recruit in the RCMP.
"He was kind, he was interested, he was funny, he got along well with everybody," said McMillan. "I think he was one of the youngest ones that had been in and he was pretty excited … about going up North."
His former gym teacher, Dana Wykes, remembers helping him prepare for the RCMP's physical test, including for the beep test, a multi-stage fitness test used to measure endurance.
"We have memories of me trying to beathim in the beep test," said Wykes, wiping tears from her eyes.
While there was grief at RCMP headquarters in Ottawa, officials rejected suggestions that northern detachments are more dangerous than others.
RCMP Chief Supt. Fraser Macaulay said Scott worked closely with an experienced officer when he was sent to the detachment.
"This is not an instance where we are sending our young members into places where they shouldn't be.… Kimmirut is no different from any other detachment," said Macaulay.
Last month, Const. Christopher Worden, 30,was shot and killed while responding alone to a call in Hay River, N.W.T.
Both deaths came as a new RCMP policy is crafted, which is expected to expand the circumstances under which backup becomes mandatory for lone officers going into uncertain or dangerous situations.