Skip to content

Police and peace officers honoured for service

Parade and memorial ceremonies coincide with the Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day.

REGINA — Ceremonies at the front of the legislature marked Sunday's gathering of the Saskatchewan Police and Peace Officers Memorial.

The activities coincide with the Police and Peace Officers National Memorial Day, as proclaimed by the government of Canada for the last Sunday in September every year. It is a day for Canadians to formally express appreciation for the dedication of police and peace officers, and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Saskatchewan has been holding these ceremonies annually since 2004. It began Sunday morning with the parade of officers at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, and proceeded south on Albert Street to the legislative building.

Included in the parade were members of the RCMP and municipal forces including Regina and Saskatoon police. Also joining them were bicyclists who took part in Ride to Remember, a four-day ride from Saskatoon to Regina that included 20 riders. The ride took that group through Humboldt, Watrous, Moose Jaw and finally Regina.

Sgt. Maria Rupcich of Regina Police Service said it was important for her to take part in the ride. "I think it's very important that we remember the officers who lost their lives to some tragic circumstances in the line of duty, and as well we ride for the ones who lost their struggles to mental health and they're continuing to struggle with mental health."

The wreath laying ceremony and reading of the honour roll of police and peace officers who died in the line of duty took place on the legislature's front steps. There were a total of 65 names on that Saskatchewan roll.

Among those on hand for the ceremonies was Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty. He spoke of the impact on colleagues and family members of those who lost their lives in the performance of their duties.

"As a former police officer, I have been personally impacted by colleagues and friends being killed in the line of duty. I will never forget these instances and the deep loss we felt," he said. 

It was a particularly poignant ceremony with the recent loss of RCMP Constable Shelby Patton, who was killed in Wolseley in 2021. His widow Mari Grobler was on hand to lay a wreath on behalf of family and loved ones of those who had fallen.

Casey Ward, president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers, said it was important to honour the men and women who had paid the ultimate sacrifice. He also welcomed the return of the live ceremonies after a hiatus during the pandemic.

"This day we will always remember wherever we are, even our members that aren't able to participate today," said Ward. "There's lots of men and women working right now keeping our city and country safe, and we all take that time throughout this day, just a little quick reminder of the men and women that came before us."