The death of a police officer affects so many, said a 27-year RCMP veteran.
“When a police officer is killed in the line of duty it’s not just the organization that suffers the loss, but also the family of that member and also all the families that officer has touched over the course of their career,” said Kevin Halwa, who has served in Red Deer and Sylvan Lake detachments.
“The community as a whole and the nation suffers a huge loss as well and it’s something we’re all feeling today.”
Const. Travis Jordan, 35, an 8 1/2-year veteran with the Edmonton Police Service, and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, who had been with the service for 5 1/2 years were shot and killed as they responded to a call at an apartment building early Thursday morning.
Halwa is a director with the National Police Federation that represents 20,000 RCMP officers across Canada and who are united in offering their condolences to the family, friends and many others affected by the officers’ deaths.
“Obviously, our heart goes out to the Edmonton Police Service and our brothers and sisters from the Edmonton Police Service,” he said.
“Words can’t effectively express how sad we are for their loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Halwa was in Edmonton when the last police officer was killed there in 2015.
Const. Daniel Woodall was shot and killed and another officer was wounded when a man opened fire from inside a home at the officers who were trying to get in to arrest him. The suspect then set the home ablaze and took his own life.
“I remember that like it was yesterday. There are certain dates as a Canadian police officer that you always remember. And today will be one of those dates.”
For the officers’ colleagues “this will be a date that is forever etched on their memory. It’s just a horrific loss for everyone.”
Every officer knows the risks they face in keeping their communities safe, he said.
“They bravely go to work each day to serve their community. None of us do so expecting for this to happen, but we do understand that, unfortunately, it does happen from time to time.”