Blue Line

Burnaby RCMP marks anniversary of Constable Shaelyn Yang’s death

October 19, 2023  By Lubna El Elaimy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Oct. 19, 2023, Burnaby, Alta. – On Oct. 18, Burnaby RCMP unveiled a cenotaph dedicated to Constable Shaelyn Yang who died in the line of duty one year ago. Yang was fatally stabbed during an altercation on Oct. 18, 2022 near Broadview Park in Burnaby. According to an RCMP press release from Oct. 19, 2022, “Cst. Shaelyn Yang of the Burnaby RCMP’s Police Mental Health and Homeless Outreach Team, became engaged in an altercation with a man which resulted in Cst. Yang being fatally stabbed.” The incident happened after Burnaby RCMP received a call related to a person living in a tent near Broadview Park.

During the Oct. 16 city council meeting, Mayor Mike Hurley paid tribute to Yang, saying, “October 18 will mark the one-year anniversary our community suffered an incredible loss when constable Shaelyn Yang lost her life in the line of duty. Constable Yang was just 31 years old and three years into her career with the Burnaby RCMP. By all accounts she was a talented officer and a kind and very compassionate person. Our thoughts continue to be with her family, friends and fellow RCMP members and staff. It is important for us to reflect and continue to support one another as we move forward.”

Hurley also spoke about the wider context of policing in Burnaby and the risks police officers take in the line of duty. “Last month, the RCMP’s Ride to Remember came to Burnaby. The Ride to Remember honours RCMP members across Canada who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It was a poignant reminder of the sacrifices police officers make to keep our community safe every day and it was a touching show of love and support for those who continue to work through their grief. Constable Yang will not be forgotten in Burnaby. Her legacy will live on through the actions that we take to ensure our community is safe for everyone,” Hurley said.

In an official statement, chief superintendent and officer in charge for Burnaby RCMP, Graham de la Gorgendiere, spoke about Yang’s life and legacy and work with vulnerable people in Burnaby. “As a police officer, she had the ability to build connections with people from all backgrounds by showing them care and compassion. There is no greater example of this than the work she did with vulnerable people in our community, including those experiencing homelessness, drug addiction, and mental illness,” the statement said. During the private ceremony on Oct. 18, 2023, Yang’s name was added to Burnaby RCMP’s cairn and the Wall of Honour inside the detachment. For more about the incident that led to Yang’s death, read The Beacon’s coverage from last year.


– Burnaby Beacon

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