Tuesday, July 18, 2006
ANOTHER MOUNTIE TRAGEDY
On July 7th, RCMP Cst.'s Robin Cameron, above, and Marc Bourdages, responded to a familiar house across from their RCMP Detachment for another domestic call. It was fine summer evening in Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. The town troublemaker had just found out that his mother was going to inherit half of his father's farm, which he had thought he was going to inherit in full. He and his sister, Grace, were going at it full tilt in the house and Grace was trying to protect her divorced mom from her brother.
The domestic resulted in an armed Curtis Dagenais leading these two officers on a 27 km chase into a swampy, brush-filled area. A third officer pursued them as back-up. The chase ended, so the RCMP say, at 9:15 p.m. with both officers shot in the head, the back-up officer returning fire with Dagenais, and Dagenais making it away into the woods - woods that he apparently knows better than his own living room. He was well-known in town for his hatred of authority, particularly police.
This past weekend, both officers succumbed to their injuries. Cst. Bourdages leaves behind a nine-month-old son, and a widow who is also a Cst. in that Detachment. Spiritwood is a small farming community north of Saskatoon. Cst. Cameron was a single mother of an eleven year old daughter. Her father and uncle are both RCMP officers as well.
In Canada, we tend to recognize our police deaths with large funerals in the same way that we do our fallen soldiers. The shock we feel at their deaths is in large part because of our strict gun control. Also, when they fall in the line of duty in such small towns it seems surreal that the officer you see everyday in the same coffee shop - off duty in the same grocery store, should suddenly be taken from you by the same freak you've known since high school. It doesn't seem right, it's not fair, and nothing can bring them back. Sudden death, graphic death, in real life leaves deep, ravaging holes in the fabric of a community. And it takes time to mourn the dead.
Our RCMP are a Canadian icon. They are seen as the elite among our police forces, although every man and woman who wears any police uniform does the same job, day in and day out.
Curtis Dagenais is wanted on a Canada Wide Warrant. His father thinks he's committed suicide. I think perhaps that's true because no picture has been shown of him on any news station despite of talk of the warrant. If I find a picture of him I'll post it here on my blog.
Robin and Marc, thank you for all the good you've done, for the respected officers you've been, and for the wonderful memories you have given your children. You leave a great legacy.