A sun-soaked sky helped shield the tears shed by many in the crowd in attendance for the unveiling of a memorial plaque for Const. Sarah Beckett on Wednesday. Beckett, who died in the line of duty on April 5, was much loved by her colleagues and co-workers.
A tremendous outpouring of compassion, support, care and condolences for the family flooded the community in the weeks that followed her passing, as evidenced by the crowd that gathered outside the West Shore RCMP detachment to witness the unveiling, pay their respects and express sympathy to Beckett’s family.
Langford Mayor Stew Young reflected on how the past few months have been a difficult, emotional time for the community during a long and challenging healing process.
Addressing Beckett’s family, Young said the community is deeply indebted to Beckett, and all police officers across the country who put themselves in harm’s way every day.
“On behalf of the citizens of Langford we make this commitment to you,” he said. “I promise we will never forget you, Sarah.”
Chief Supt. Ray Bernoties, district commander for the RCMP on Vancouver Island, said he was deeply impacted by how the community came together in the wake of the tragic loss.
“People of all walks of life and all ages came to the detachment to offer condolences to Sarah’s family,” he said. “People stopped to shake your hand or offer a hug. From now on, it will be mandatory for all officers coming to the West Shore detachment to visit the memorial garden and read the plaque dedicated to Sarah.”
Langford Coun. Lillian Szpak said although it was a sad day, it is important to acknowledge the sacrifice Beckett made.
“Everyone says she was a truly special person and a wonderful colleague deeply dedicated to protecting our community,” said Szpak, chair of Langford’s protective services committee.