Thousands of officers in uniform filled the event centre in Langley, B.C., to attend a regimental funeral for RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien who was killed last month in Coquitlam.
Officers from around the province, including RCMP, other police services, firefighters, military and others attended the ceremony for O'Brien, who is the tenth police officer to be killed in Canada since September of last year.
Traffic Closures – Regimental Funeral today from noon to 4 p.m. Restricted & temporary roads closed: 80 Avenue, between 200 Street and 204 Street - 76 Avenue, between 200 Street and 202A Street - 202A Street, between 74B Avenue and 80 Avenue. Thank you for your patience. #RCMP pic.twitter.com/0YWG8fyIEe— BCRCMP (@BCRCMP) October 4, 2023
Today is #WearRedWednesday. Honour fallen RCMP Cst. Rick O’Brien & support all RCMP Members. Tag @npffpn in your red attire, a colour Cst. O’Brien wore proudly. GoFundMe still active for his family. https://t.co/NWFbjnLFB2 #RCMPNeverForget pic.twitter.com/u2ekUAZtt1— NPF-FPN (@npffpn) October 4, 2023
The father of six was 51 when he was killed Sept. 22 while he and other officers were executing a search warrant at a home.
The mourning officers had marched to the event centre in a procession on Wednesday, behind the hearse carrying O'Brien's coffin, the RCMP Pipe Band and a riderless horse to symbolize a fallen member.
Flags are flying at half mast around the province as Constable Rick O’Brien is laid to rest today. I continue to keep his family and loved ones in my thoughts. I’m thankful for his service to the people of British Columbia, for which he paid the ultimate sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/tnCqASKu4k— David Eby (@Dave_Eby) October 4, 2023
Langley resident Ingrid Davies said that as the mother of a Mountie she decided to attend the procession to pay tribute to the fallen officer.
"It hits very close to home when something like this happens but we just try to stay positive and we hope his family can find some peace," she said.
Betty Lew, whose daughter is also a Mountie, said every parent of an officer worries about their child’s safety when they are on the job, and she felt it was important to pay tribute to O'Brien.
“They serve the citizens all around. They protect us. So, we should be able to protect them."
O'Brien came to the Mounties late in life, joining in 2016 after a career of working with at-risk children, and was decorated early in his career for bravery after helping to rescue victims from a home invasion.
Supt. Wendy Mehat, the officer in charge at Ridge Meadows RCMP, where O'Brien spent all of his career, said after O'Brien was killed that he loved visiting schools and helping students, while calling his death senseless and heartbreaking.
In lieu of gifts or flowers, we encourage you to wear red today to recognize and remember Constable Rick O’Brien's ultimate sacrifice.— Ridge Meadows RCMP (@RidgeRCMP) October 4, 2023
Cst. O'Brien's Regimental Funeral can be streamed live at https://t.co/7ZK4Ibf6hD.#WearRedWednesday ❤️ https://t.co/KiQJzuEiZI
A fundraiser organized by the National Police Federation Benevolent Foundation has raised more than $150,000 for O'Brien's family.
A 25-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the officer's death.