Local RCMP travel to Alberta to honour fallen comrades 

Fourteen of Whistler’s finest headed to Edmonton Wednesday to take part in a memorial for the four RCMP officers slain by a lone gunman in Alberta last week.

"We are going to show our respect for the officers who have fallen and to show support for all our officers," said Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Norm McPhail.

The resort’s detachment was hit hard with the news as two of the local officers went through training school with two of those killed, and another officer previously worked in the Mayerthhorpe area, where the killings took place.

"There has been a fair amount of emotion in the shop," said McPhail.

James Roszko, 46, used an assault rifle to gun down Constables Anthony Gordon, Lionide Johnston, Brock Myrol and Peter Schiemann on March 3.

Mounties were standing guard at Roszko’s farm after a marijuana grow operation and stolen pick-up trucks, partially dismantled, were found in a metal hut. Roszko killed himself.

McPhail said the people of Whistler have been very supportive with some dropping off flowers at the detachment.

It is particularly distressing that the slain officers were so young said McPhail, adding that somehow it’s easier to come to terms with a death in the line of duty if the officer has had a full career.

"To lose so many young officers is tragic," he said. "They are so full of passion for their job and so passionate about going out there to solve the problems of the world."

His hope is that officers across the country will be able to learn from the tragedy.

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