British Columbia

Const. Sarah Beckett among officers honoured at Law Enforcement Memorial

219 names are on the list of fallen officers, including Const. Sarah Beckett who died in April near Victoria.

Beckett, the lone officer killed in 2016, honoured at B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial

Police detachments from across the province gathered at Stanley Park to honour fallen officers for the 19th annual B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial. (Cliff Shim/CBC)

Const. Sarah Beckett joined the list of 219 officers killed in the line of duty to be remembered at the 19th annual B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial.

The Westshore RCMP officer was the only officer killed on the job in 2016 in the province.

Beckett, 32, died in April — after her police cruiser collided with a pickup truck near Victoria, B.C.

Const. Sarah Beckett was killed in April when her vehicle collided with a pickup truck near Victoria. (Submitted)

"Const. Beckett represented everything good about policing," said B.C. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens.

Criminal charges were approved against Kenneth Jacob Fenton, 28, earlier this month. Fenton is facing five counts, including impaired driving causing death and flight from police causing death.

Beckett left behind a husband and two young children.

They were in Ottawa for the national Police And Peace Officer's Memorial, which takes place in Ottawa every year. 

"I think I speak for all of us when I say it feels like it was just yesterday," added Callens, who said he spoke to Beckett's family before they left for the Nation's Capital. "I think it will take many, many years to heal."

219 fallen officers were honoured at the B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial. (Cliff Shim/CBC)

Victims' families

About a hundred spectators attended the memorial, many of them there to remember their deceased family members.

Terrie Philp lost her father more than 50 years ago when a drunk driver ran him over.

"It's been a lot of years since 1963," said Philp, with tears welling up in her eyes. "But in my mind and in my heart, it was last night."

Terrie Philp tears up speaking about her father, who was killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver. (Cliff Shim/CBC)

Philp and her two siblings turned the buttons from their dads' uniform into necklaces, which she says they wear everyday. She says she comes to the annual law enforcement memorial to help keep his memory alive.

"I just feel like I have to come here for him, I just have to keep telling him I miss him and love him so badly."

Officer added 100 years later

A B.C. police officer with the B.C. Electric Railway Company was also added to the honour roll — 101 years after being killed in the line of duty.

In 1915, Special Constable Charles Painter tried to arrest a man who he believed was carrying stolen wire.  

A struggle ensued, and the man grabbed the officer's revolver and fatally shot him.

Painter's story only came to light recently when a current Transit Police officer — Const. Graham Walker — uncovered it while doing research about the history of transit policing.

The oldest name on the list of fallen B.C. officers dates back to the 1860s.