EDITORIAL: A time to pause and reflect, not speculate

Our West Shore community is grieving in many different ways

Evidence of the impact the tragic passing of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett has had permeates every corner of the community and beyond.

It’s almost impossible not to know someone who knew her through her work as a devoted protector of the public, or as a loving wife and mother raising two young children. We are all impacted in some way to some degree, whether we knew her or not, by the memorials, signs and reminders that are springing up in places we frequently pass around Langford and elsewhere on the West Shore.

The statue outside the West Shore Detachment is awash in a sea of flowers, while more still have been gently laid at the corner of Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue, the site of the crash that took her young life. A florist whose shop is located almost in the middle of the two sites sold out of fresh product within hours of the news that Beckett had died.

Much of the outpouring of support, condolences and offers of assistance for the family have been driven through social media. The thousands already committed to help the family, donated through a GoFundMe page, clearly underlines the powerful tool social media has become and the positive affect it can have.

Unfortunately, even in the darkest of times, there are those who choose this medium to speculate, vent or spread rumours, and that has no upside. Unlike the mainstream media, there is no accountability or fact checking required and the results can be devastating.

It can also hinder the healing process for Beckett’s family, her RCMP family and resources needed to complete an investigation that will be an important part of the healing process. We ask that everyone be patient and measured in their response to this tragedy.

Take the time to reflect on what matters most at this time, showing support for Beckett’s family, friends and co-workers who are dealing with this unimaginable loss.

The investigation will unfold with time and hopefully bring a measure of closure. There is nothing to be gained from wondering what happened, and careless Internet-spawned speculation will not result in peace or comfort for anyone.

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