A fundraiser on behalf of the family of a fallen Ridge Meadows RCMP officer has raised more than $100,000 since his death on Friday, Sept. 22.
The National Police Federation Benevolent Foundation, (NPFBF), in partnership with the National Police Federation, set up the GoFundMe for Const. Rick O’Brien, who was gunned down while executing a search warrant in the neighbouring community of Coquitlam.
Two other officers were injured in the altercation.
As of Wednesday morning, Sept. 27, $139,826 has been raised by 1,600 donors for his wife, Nicole Longacre O’Brien, and the 51-year-old’s six children.
Kevin Halwa, chair of the NPFBF in Ottawa, described Const. O’Brien as a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend. Halwa also noted on the fundraiser page that the NPFBF is the sole trusted organization to safely and securely accept, steward, and forward donations to the families of RCMP Members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Your donation will help Cst. O’Brien’s family with the costs of upcoming expenses,” he said.
A total of 53 people have left words of support online with their donations.
“I knew Rick as a young man when the family lived across the street from us. Many fond memories. So sorry for your loss,” wrote Elizabeth McNaught.
“Rest in Peace Rick. From your troop mate. Troop one forever,” said Chris Kerwin.
And Steven Holmes said he knew O’Brien for more than 25 years.
“He was a friend, a colleague, and a wonderful human being.”
A book of condolences has been placed in front of the detachment for people to sign – beside a growing memorial to the fallen officer.
There are so many bouquets of flowers, Darian Noel, a civilian member of the Ridge Meadows RCMP, spent time on Monday putting the bouquets in pails of water to keep them fresh for longer.
In the House of Commons on Monday, Sept. 25, MP for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam Ron McKinnon rose to honour Const. O’Brien.
“Mr. Speaker, It is with regret that I rise today in this place to honour RCMP Constable Rick O’Brien of the Ridge Meadows detachment,” the MP began.
“Words cannot ever encompass a tragedy like this,” he said.
“Nevertheless, on behalf of myself and my family, on behalf of all of the residents of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and indeed the whole of the Tri-Cities, and I daresay on behalf of all of us in this place, I would like to express my deepest sadness, and most profound condolences to Constable O’Brien’s wife, and children, and to his many friends and colleagues, all of whom will feel his absence forever. Maintiens le droit,” finished McKinnon, ending his tribute with the RCMP motto which translates into “Maintain the right”.
The goal of the fundraiser has been changing as donations poured in, but now it is at $150,000.
Any questions about the fundraiser can be directed to Halwa at npf-fpn.com/benevolent-foundation.
The book of condolences will be available to sign from 10-4 p.m. Monday to Friday outside the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment at 11990 Haney Place in Maple Ridge.