NEWS

Police presence felt at B.C. funeral of 'crime figure'

05/11/2012 10:41 EDT | Updated 07/11/2012 05:12 EDT

An obvious police presence marked the Surrey, B.C., funeral of an alleged gangster Friday who was gunned down in Mexico last month.

The service for Thomas Gisby, who the RCMP called a “high-ranking organized crime figure,” was held at Victory Memorial Park.

The approximately 75 mourners Friday were greeted at the door of the funeral home by members of the Integrated Gang Task Force.

Some of those in attendance were stopped and asked for identification, while police took down names and licence plate numbers.

Police said the scrutiny was all in the name of public safety.

“[There was] potential for rival competitors in the criminal world to maybe attend here and settle some scores, so it’s our duty to ensure that does not happen," said RCMP Sgt. Drew Grainger.

Gisby's obituary said he had "a kind and generous spirit,” and was affectionately known as "Grumpy" and "Hunk of Fudge".

But police said they knew another side of the man.

"We know Thomas Gisby very well as a high-ranking organized crime figure here in British Columbia," said RCMP Chief Supt. Don Malo the day after Gisby’s slaying.

Despite the stated potential for danger, police reported there were no incidents at the service.

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