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Watch: Fallen RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien honoured at regimental funeral

More than 6,000 first responders were at today's regimental service for Const. Rick O'Brien, a seven-year officer with the Ridge Meadows detachment who was murdered in Coquitlam on Sept. 22, 2023.

3:15 p.m.

“You are my forever love.”

Those were the closing words of Nicole Longacre O’Brien as friend Stephanie Porter delivered a eulogy on behalf of the family of Const. Rick O’Brien this afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.

There were few dry eyes in the auditorium filled with Mounties and other emergency personnel as Porter addressed the crowd, remarking on O’Brien’s widow’s love for her husband and the joy they shared with their blended family.

Porter talked about how Longacre O’Brien had dreamed of being with her husband for the rest of their lives.

“Here I am, instead, sending you off to a different kind of paradise,” she read from Longacre O'Brien's notes.

“One that I was never prepared for…. The love we shared was a storybook love.”

Porter read how Longacre O’Brien had met O’Brien when she had least expected it.

She was drawn to his “beautiful, kind eyes and smile” and described him as “everything I hoped for in a partner.”

He courted her with songs and poems, and even mailed a CD to her work, and “it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with you. You were a gift from the universe.”

Porter read how Longacre O’Brien has thousands of photos of her and her husband and “to me, every photo is a gift” that shows “a life that we built together.”

Cpl. Pete Westra, O’Brien’s field trainer and friend, also spoke about O’Brien’s kindness and compassion especially with multi-barrier young people.

At work, he kept a child’s drawing nearby. “This clearly meant something to Rick.”

But Westra said O’Brien was also child-like, playing pranks on his friends and family, eating cereal and watching cartoons. And he adored the children that he shared with Longacre O’Brien, often referring them as the Brady Bunch.

He was very close with his mother, too, who died earlier this year.

“Rick was so proud to be a police officer,” Westra said.

“He loved to help those in need. Rick’s loss has devastated many people. It was too early and it was senseless. The world has changed with this loss.”

RCMP deputy commissioner Dwayne McDonald said O’Brien started as an educator but moved into RCMP about eight years ago — supported by his wife.

Soon after he began with the Ridge Meadows detachment, he earned an award for his bravery and valour. O’Brien made a difference in the community, he said.

“He made us better.”

His death “is a senseless act of violence,” RCMP commissioner Mike Duheme added. “I’m devastated by this tragic loss and outraged that one more officer has been killed in the line of duty.”

The E-Division Pipes and Drums then led a round of "Amazing Grace," followed by a homily and prayer for the RCMP by Ridge Meadows RCMP Chaplain Greg Dalman; the "Last Post" was also played before a moment of silence was held.

A Mountie then presented the Canadian flag that was draped over O'Brien's coffin and his Stetson to O'Brien's widow.

A final salute was held outside after the service, with Premier David Eby watching.

2:25 p.m.

The chaplain of the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment offered prayers and thanks to the police officers who attended to Const. Rick O’Brien’s service today.

Chaplain Bill Ashbee named O’Brien’s wife, Nicole, and each of their children, as well as his father and sisters, noting the “intense number of days” they’ve gone through since O’Brien was killed in the line of duty in Coquitlam on Sept. 22.

He also gave thanks to the team that has cared for the family since the murder.

Ashbee read a passage from the Bible that O’Brien’s parents would often say to their children: Psalm 91.

2:08 p.m.

Police officers and emergency personnel from around North America removed their hats for the Marching on the Guidon — and the arrival of the coffin with the late Const. Rick O’Brien — into the Langley Events Centre this afternoon.

The crowd stood silent as the draped casket carried by RCMP pallbearers, followed by O'Brien's widow and family, slowly travelled to the front of the auditorium for the regimental service for the fallen officer.

The service will also include a musical tribute by Marie Hui, a eulogy by Const. Ben Stephens and Cpl. Peter Westra and speeches from Const. Dan Leclaire and John Brandreth (as friends); Cindy Niezen (on behalf of O’Brien’s friends and family); and Stephanie Porter (on behalf of O’Brien’s wife, Nicole, and their six children).

1:45 p.m.

Red mixed with blue in a long procession following the casket of Const. Frederick "Rick" O'Brien, who was killed in the line of duty last month in Coquitlam.

The procession into the Langley Events Centre today, Oct. 4, had more than 6,000 first responders from across the country and the United States pay tribute to the fallen RCMP officer.

People lined the streets wearing red to honour O'Brien, a seven-year police officer with the Ridge Meadows detachment who, on Sept. 22, 2023, was executing a search warrant with two other Mounties when he was fatally shot.

Observers also flew Canadian flags to see the street filled with marching uniformed emergency personnel, and hear the overlapping sounds from the bagpipes.

B.C. Premier David Eby is also in attendance.

RCMP outreach

Meanwhile, Coquitlam RCMP will be in the City Centre neighbourhood tomorrow, Oct. 5, to talk with residents about the police murder.

The detachment’s victim services unit, as well as staff, volunteers and Mounties will be available to discuss the shooting during a drop-in event from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Glen Pine Pavilion (1200 Glen Pine Crt.).

Area residents and business owners — and those impacted by the traumatic incident — can chat with police about neighbourhood safety, how to talk to kids about the murder and mental health impacts.

“We understand that people have questions and concerns around community safety following serious incidents,” said Cpl. Alexa Hodgins, media relations officer for Coquitlam RCMP, in a news release.

“The public is welcome to attend this outreach event on Thursday, Oct. 5. This is a time for residents, community members and the public to come together, voice their concerns, ask questions and connect with resources.”

You can visit the Coquitlam RCMP website for more details.