On March 10th 2005, I, along with hundreds (if not thousands) of police officers from Canada and the United States marched through the streets of Edmonton en-route to the funeral of four members of the RCMP. It was a show of solidarity and respect for the fallen officers who had been murdered while on duty in Mayerthorpe Alberta.
There has been much speculation about what went so dreadfully wrong on that fateful day in March of 2005. Publicly the RCMP have been tight-lipped about how it was possible for the killer to get back to the quonset hut the Mounties were guarding, unnoticed, and kill all four members present.
An inquiry under the Alberta Fatality Inquiries Act began Monday. The intent of the inquiry is not to assign blame but rather to establish the facts and make recommendations to avoid similar tragedies in the future.
The determination that the four officers were murdered by James Roszko, aided and abetted by two others has settled the question of who was blameworthy in a criminal sense.
The inquiry, however, may shed further light on what actually happened; what the RCMP policies and procedures were in relation to the incident in question; what changes the RCMP have made in the ensuing 6 years; and what still needs to be done.
Many police officers (albeit without all the facts) are of the opinion that these four deaths were preventable.