Police forces across the country are mourning the loss of two officers who were slain in Edmonton last week.
Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan were shot and killed by a 16-year-old boy while responding to a call in west Edmonton last Thursday.
"I think for all of us in our communities, and for police chiefs in particular, it's something that is one of the most difficult things we'll be dealing with," said Moose Jaw Police Chief Rick Bourassa. "It's just so challenging to keep moving forward but we have to keep moving forward as police services and continue to provide our services while at the same time deal with all of the issues that surround that."
Bourassa said he did speak with Edmonton Police Service Chief Dale McFee very briefly last week to pass on condolences and support for the police service and its members.
He says when an incident like this happens, it affects all members of the force.
"It's a reminder in the policing world that sometimes things happen very quickly that we don't control and it's just a reminder that there are some inherent risks in policing and we continue to provide our services, recognizing those risks exist."
Bourassa added that for the vast majority of time, policing is almost a routine undertaking and there really isn't a lot of risk involved. What they don't know is when those risks will present themselves unexpectedly.
"We do know, a lot of times, that we are moving into risky situations, and we can prepare for that and make sure that we have all the right things in place to minimize that risk. But there are times when things happen very quickly and regardless of preparation or training or equipment or any of that, things happen quickly and there's not a lot that we can do about it. That is always a little discomforting for people."
He notes police services across the Prairies are a close-knit group, and members of the Moose Jaw Police Service have worked with the Edmonton Police Service on several issues.
Every Moose Jaw police officer goes through training around de-escalation and if there is an elevated level of stress or risk, members are well trained at employing de-escalation. Bourassa explained that if the de-escalation isn't effective, there's a use of force continuum that the police officers will engage in to minimize risk and to resolve situations as safely as possible. However, there are times when none of those things are at play because things happen very quickly and before anyone has a chance to think or respond, the situation is over.
Flags at the Moose Jaw Police Station are flying at half-mast and members will be attending the funeral in Edmonton. As of Sunday, details of a regimental funeral for Constables Ryan and Jordan had yet to be finalized
"They're very difficult times for everybody. They're difficult times for the communities, they're difficult times for all the people that have been involved including the police officers. Now the work is to reduce the trauma and move forward together as a police service and a community," concluded Bourassa.