CANADA - Tags: CRIME LAW OBITUARY
Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers gather to attend the funeral for three fellow officers who were killed last week in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 10, 2014. Justin Bourque, 24, was charged with murder on Friday in the slayings of the three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, Constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45; David Joseph Ross, 32, and Douglas James Larche, 40, during a shooting spree in the eastern Canadian city of Moncton. The shooting spree was one of the worst of its kind in Canada, where gun laws are stricter than in the United States and deadly attacks on police are rare. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: CRIME LAW OBITUARY) - RTR3T2AB Mark Blinch/Reuters
Thousands of RCMP officers and other law enforcement officers from across Canada will be in Moncton, N.B., today to attend the regimental funeral for the three Mounties who were killed in the line of duty last week.
Gov.-Gen. David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be inside the Moncton Coliseum at 1 p.m. AT along with the thousands of police officers and first responders to remember constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, Dave Joseph Ross and Douglas James Larche.
It is expected the two Mounties who were injured in the shooting, constables Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen, will also attend the funeral.
Staff Sgt. Major Gilles Côté, who is co-ordinating the regimental funeral, said an estimated 7,000 RCMP officers and first responders will be in Moncton.
He said the goal is to honour the fallen officers "in the best way we can as an organization."
There are two chartered flights coming into Moncton on Tuesday to bring RCMP officers to the funeral. Air Canada has also added an extra flight into Moncton.
In all, seven planes loaded with police officers from across Canada and the United States flew into Moncton on Tuesday morning.
Due to the number of officers taking part, organizers decided on an earlier start time of 10:45 a.m. AT for the procession in advance of the funeral.
The city is also taking a number of steps to help the funeral's organizers. For instance, Moncton is taking its Codiac Transit buses out of their regular rotation on Tuesday.
Instead, the public transit buses will be used for taking RCMP to the procession route along Millennium Boulevard just before noon AT.
"We certainly understand that some people rely on the service; however, the RCMP needs our help at this time," said Isabelle LeBlanc, a communications officer for the City of Moncton.
"They've asked us to transport officers back and forth for the ceremony, so we've certainly tried to accommodate that."
The large number of law enforcement officers expected to be in Moncton for the funeral means there will be few seats left for the public.
The city has organized 10 remote viewing sites around Moncton so people can mourn together.
"Whether you want to see it with other people or you want to see it perhaps by yourself on television, there will be options for everybody," LeBlanc said.
The lack of public seating does not bother Moncton residents, such as Brenda Myers.
Myers said it's her duty to pay her respects to the fallen Mounties.
But she said she feels the funeral at the Moncton Coliseum is for RCMP members and family of the slain officers so she'll watch from the Wesleyan Celebration Centre.
“It affects me terribly what has happened and I know it's affected others,” Myers said.
“I have two brothers — one is retired from the RCMP [and] I have another that is in the RCMP, and we know what it's like when they're out on calls.”
‘The best thing we could do is to say, thank you’
The funeral follows the public visitation for the Mounties that drew large crowds on Monday.
Nicky Carrier was one of the many Moncton residents who turned out to the visitation. His family lives in the area that was locked down last week and he said it is important that the RCMP understands how much the public appreciates their service.
“Everywhere I went this week, I stopped, if I saw a police car I followed them and stopped and said, thank you,” he said.
“I think the best thing we could do is to say, thank you for taking care of our community and our children and my family.”
Paul Thebeau drove to Moncton from Shediac with his son for the visitation on Monday.
“I mean we love the RCMP because they're protecting us all the time. So we have to be here, it's our turn to show our respect,” Thebeau said.
The outpouring of public support for the RCMP has manifested itself in other ways since the deadly shootings.
There had been a call-out on Monday for Moncton residents to open up their homes to visiting RCMP and other law enforcement officers who will be attending the funeral.
Flood of offers as home billets arranged
The request had to be suspended due to the "overwhelming" response, according to the City of Moncton.
A volunteer organization is arranging home billets so the visiting officers have a place to stay when they arrive in Moncton. The group said on Monday it was getting about a call a minute from people offering to put visitors up in their homes.
"We continue to work as quickly as possible to find accommodations as we're receiving confirmations from attendees. However, due to your exceptional generosity, we have at this time more homes than confirmed visitors," the city said in a statement.
"We thank you sincerely once again for the outpouring of support."
Officials say 875 citizens in the Moncton area have signed up to host officers coming to the funeral.
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Official program for regimental funeral