Dozens of RCMP and Spiritwood community members ran to remember on the 10th anniversary of two officers falling in the line of duty. Thirty-three people crossed the finish line in the Cameron and Bourdages five-kilometre Fun Run Tuesday, July 5.
RCMP Sgt. Shannon Haggarty said it was the first of what will hopefully become an annual event to memorialize Const. Robin Cameron and Const. Marc Bourdages.
“I wasn’t posted here at the time, but it affects all of us,” she said. “We’re a big family, whether you’re a spouse or a family member or a police officer. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years … this is just our way to show that we haven’t forgotten the two members.”
Cameron and Bourdages were shot while pursuing suspect Curtis Dagenais on July 7, 2006. Both officers died days later within hours of each other while a manhunt continued for Dagenais.
He was arrested after 12 days and later found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Agency Chiefs Tribal Council representative Steven Jim, who organized the fun run, said the tragedy hits close to home for him because his brother is a sergeant with the RCMP.
He knew the slain officers personally, and had spent time with Cameron just days before the shooting.
“She had a lot of aspirations, a lot of hopes and especially for her kids,” he said. “They have a job just like most people and their job is to serve and protect, and unfortunate events happen and we need to remember that.”
Cst. Donovan Kajner was one of the members who responded during the incident, coming from Wakaw to assist. Having grown up in Spiritwood, he asked to come back after the incident when many members transferred out.
“I know there’s a lot of people even to this day that are still going through the healing process as far as that goes. Even 10 years later, it’s still vivid,” he said.
Money raised from the run is going to the construction of a memorial park to honour Cameron and Bourdages.
Haggarty said progress is well underway and trees have just been planted. Construction is expected to take several years with the end result of two bronze statues of the officers.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, July 6, for Cameron and Bourdages in Spiritwood. Haggarty said RCMP officers will come from across the province, many who knew Cameron and Bourdages and others who are coming to support them.
There will be a pipe ceremony, feast and service with speeches. The feast is at 11:30 a.m. and the service begins at 2 p.m.