It has become an all-too-common sight, flags flying at half-mast outside the London Police Association headquarters.
Police services throughout the region took to their social media sites on Thursday, posting sympathies and support for the Edmonton Police Service and its members after two officers were fatally shot and killed.
London Police Association Executive Director Rick Robson said all officers must continue to be vigilant.
“Take care of yourselves, take care of each other. Be mindful,” he said. “Revert back to your training.”
In the past six months, eight police officers have been killed on the job across Canada. Robson said life-altering or potentially life-ending danger is a constant reality in policing.
“We interact with people all the time and we will continue to interact with people,” he explained. “If someone is there with deadly intentions it’s an extremely difficult scenario to counter, to prepare for, and to walk away from safely.”
It was the case when two London Police Service members were hit by gunfire during a standoff at a Kipps Lane apartment on Saturday. In that case, they suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Robson said what many people fail to recognize is that the friends and colleagues of those that are killed or injured on duty often have to go back to a job themselves not long after.
“You continue to go to work,” he said. “So the officers that were working Saturday night when our officers were shot, came back to work Sunday night to do another shift.”
Robson admitted there has been a troubling tone, fueled on some social media platforms, that has created distrust of — and sometimes disdain for — police. He sees that reflected in how people are interacting with police.
“It’s okay to challenge the police. There are all sorts of legal mechanisms. What seems to be changing is that it’s okay now to be very public to not only challenge the police, but to take action,” he said.
Despite this, Robson is confident officers will continue to their best to protect the public and themselves.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)