Blue Line

Funeral procession underway for Quebec provincial police officer killed on the job

April 13, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Apr. 13, 2023, Trois-Rivieres, Que. – Thousands of police officers and first responders from across North America are taking part in a solemn funeral procession for a Quebec provincial police officer killed while on duty.

Twenty-year veteran Sgt. Maureen Breau was fatally stabbed while serving an arrest warrant on March 27 in Louiseville, Que., about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal. Breau, 42, was a mother of two whose husband was also a provincial police officer.

On Thursday, uniformed provincial police officers marched under sunny skies alongside a black hearse carrying Breau through the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Que., on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City. An officer walking behind the hearse carried a police hat on a cushion as the procession made its way toward Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-du-Cap, the church that will host the funeral starting at 1:30 p.m.

Small groups of citizens lined the three-kilometre procession route to watch the 4,000 police officers from forces across Canada and the eastern United States who took part on foot, in cars and on motorcycles.

Provincial police Sgt. Marc Tessier said it’s important for police officers to come together to support each other.

“Every time something happens to a police officer, we’re reminded that we do a job that has risk, and it could happen to any one of us,” he said in an interview outside the church. He said Breau was a mother as well as a police officer who did a lot of work in her community.

“She was a person that was always smiling,” he said. “When you talked to her, instantly, you had a connection.”

“That’s why people are here – they’re touched by what happened, and it’s reminding us that we have to enjoy life and take care of yourself and your family,” Tessier said.

He said police appreciated the outpouring of support from the public, who left cards and flowers at the police station where Breau worked and posted online messages of compassion and empathy.

Police officers, Tessier said, feel the loss of a fellow officer personally. “First of all, you’re angry, you’re frustrated, and the sadness kicks in very quickly.” Tessier said Breau’s death was hard on her colleagues, who he said received psychological aid and other support from the provincial police service.

The man accused in her killing was shot dead by provincial police. Isaac Brouillard Lessard, 35, had been found not criminally responsible by the courts at least five times for past offences.

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