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We Grieve Yet Another Loss - OPP Sgt. Eric Mueller

I'm losing track of how many times I've started my policing tour of duty in the past twelve months only to hear yet another police officer has been murdered. I'm grieved and angry; this horrific repetition of murdered police officers is unprecedented in my 32.5 years of being part of the policing community.

As a police chaplain, I'm compelled to pray with more desperation for the protection of my comrades at the Brandon Police Service, and for police officers in all agencies across our nation of Canada. In addition to prayer, I find myself ending most of my conversations with my peers in the past months by saying, "stay safe."

Today, the tragedy occurred in Bourget, ON; not only one murdered officer but two others seriously injured, and now facing a long road towards re-establishing mental, physical and spiritual wellness. The two nonfatally shot OPP officers remind me of another officer - a friend, whom I had field trained while he was a recruit at BPS. Several years later, he lateralled to the RCM Police where one night while in pursuit of a stolen vehicle, he was shot in the face. His story is a private and personal one which I will not share, other than to write that his life was challenged by years of struggling to overcome the trauma after nearly dying at the hand of a violent and cowardly offender. Now, two more officers will face battles of working through a myriad of powerful emotions, mental anguish, and possibly physical deficits in their struggle to regain a life of normality. Like my friend so many years ago, these three officers placed their lives in harms way to protect their community. We hope and pray that two of these officers will experience restoration and embrace long quality-filled lives. Meanwhile, we mourn the death of Sgt Eric Mueller; his desire to serve & protect communities under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Provincial Police will not be experienced ever again by those who love him and who served alongside him.

Words fall short of expressing the heartache within the souls of police chaplains across Canada who are part of the CPCA family of police chaplains. CPCA chaplains come from different faith backgrounds but share the common ground of knowing there is strength in prayer coupled with a passion to encourage and support police officers and their families. I do not ask the chaplains in the CPCA to pray when tragedies like this occur, because I'm overwhelmingly confident that we are already praying.

On behalf of CPCA chaplains across Canada, our deepest condolences and sympathy to the family, friends and peers, both sworn and civilian, of OPP Sergeant Eric Mueller. Our thoughts and deep prayers are being lifted up to the family, friends and peers of Eric; and additionally, to the two injured officers and their families for a full recovery of all injuries. As chaplains, we will continue to pray against further tragedies such as these from occurring in our Nation.

Chaplain/Constable Bruce Ewanyshyn

CPCA President

ICPC Director Region 1

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