Participants in a candlelight walk for Const. Sarah Beckett make their way down Goldstream Avenue in Langford on Sunday night.

Hundreds hold a light for fallen West Shore RCMP officer

Sarah Beckett remembered as a caring individual who wanted to do more to help her community

Sarah Beckett was remembered Sunday as a kind and caring soul who wanted to do more for her community after donning her RCMP uniform for the first time.

A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people walked with candles in a silent procession along Goldstream Avenue on a mild night to honour the fallen West Shore RCMP constable.

With the crowd of friends, colleagues and supportive community members packed tightly around the cenotaph in Veteran’s Memorial Park, Beckett’s colleague, Cpl. Scott Hilderley recalled first meeting Beckett when she was in high school at Spectrum Community School.

She had signed up for the Greater Victoria Police Camp, which put teens through their paces and gave them a taste of the physical and mental demands of police work. Afterward, Hilderley said, Beckett told him, “This is what I want to do.”

He connected with her upon her graduation from RCMP Depot a couple years later, when she told him that her dream had come true. Sent to Port McNeill for her first assignment, she contacted Hilderley later to say she “wanted to do more;” she wanted to not only work to catch criminals but work to help people find the good in themselves.

That led her to learn to be a DARE program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) facilitator with the RCMP and through that work she was able to give back even more, Hilderley said, and touch the lives of young people in her communities.

The sombre ceremony at the park, hosted by event organizer Ryan Carveth, also included a performance of the Sarah McLachlan song “Angel” by Stephanie Greaves, accompanied by Jann Arden keyboardist Darcy Phillips; and words of support from Janelle Breese Biagoni, whose police officer husband, Gerald Breese, was killed in a motorcycle crash while on active duty.

Terri Smith of Highlands was among those who attended. Having found Carveth’s posting on Facebook that day, she decided to come down and join the community in this healing event.

“I felt it was just important to show my feelings and also to support the people that have to go on,” she said, “the police officers that have to carry on and do their jobs. This is my neighbourhood and I wanted to be here to show solidarity.”

Beckett’s official memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at The Q Centre. A parade of an estimated 4,000 police and other emergency responders is scheduled to march up Island Highway from Wilfert Road near the Great Canadian Casino, to the arena starting at 1 p.m.

Just Posted

Westhills Stadium launches expanded stadium with ceremony, excitement

expanded stadium accommodates 6,000 spectators

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

Sooke school district creates new comprehensive school health position

Ruchi McArthur will develop framework to improve wellness of students

B.C. police watchdog investigating high-speed crash in Victoria

Police watchdog called in after dramatic early morning crash at Bay and Douglas intersection

NCAA basketball comes to UVic this fall

Eight-team tournament features top university women’s basketball teams Nov. 28-30

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and stand-up guy at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Most Read