Saturday, January 16, 2010

Two of the fallen

I've just heard the sad news that another former colleague from the RCMP has been found dead in Haiti. Earlier this week, Sgt Mark Gallagher's body was recovered from the rubble. Today, that of Supt Doug Coates was discovered. Mark had been the media relations officer for the Force here in Halifax before heading to Haiti; Doug was acting commissioner for the UN Mission.

This is such sad news. Both men were great guys. although I did not know them well, our paths did cross and they were just terrific to work with. I can't imagine what their families are going through right now.

For many years, the RCMP and other Canadian police agencies have been involved in Haiti, training the local police force to help stabilize the country. Officers volunteer to go for nine-month stints. Those I've spoken with -- who have travelled there or to other countries like Bosnia -- said the experience changed their lives forever.

But I think that to volunteer to take on a job like that and to leave your family and friends behind takes a special type of person from the outset. How sad that we have lost two such men.

My heart is with the Gallagher and Coates families and my wish for them is that they have the love of family surrounding them and wonderful memories to sustain them.

My deepest sympathies,

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