POLITICS

Funeral held for slain Alberta peace officer, retired Mountie

08/20/2012 01:48 EDT | Updated 10/20/2012 05:12 EDT
EDMONTON - A cousin of the Alberta peace officer killed while investigating a complaint thinks he should have been allowed to carry a firearm on the job.

Rod Lazenby had previously worked for 35 years as a Mountie, including dangerous undercover investigations into organized crime. When he retired in 2006, he started enforcing bylaws in the Municipal District of Foothills.

"After him being in the Mounties for so long, I don't know why they wouldn't allow them to have a gun," Dale Erickson said Monday after attending Lazenby's funeral in Edmonton.

Erickson told reporters that he doesn't know how someone could have overpowered such an experienced officer, unless it was by surprise.

"Maybe a gun wouldn't have helped anyway," Erickson said.

"He was a wonderful man. He would do anything for anybody. What a way to go."

Dozens of bylaw and RCMP officers attended the private service and accompanied the family as his ashes were taken to a cemetery in nearby Sherwood Park.

A regimental memorial service, open to the public, is to be held Friday in High River, Alta. Solicitor General Jonathan Denis is planning to attend.

Denis has said his department is reviewing its policies for peace officers, including whether they should work in pairs and be allowed to carry sidearms. Peace officers with the Foothills district work alone and carry pepper spray and batons.

Few details have been released on the circumstances of Lazenby's death. He was checking out a dog complaint on a ranch near Priddis, southwest of Calgary, on Aug. 10. There had been ongoing problems with dozens of dogs on the site for a couple of years.

Lazenby was dropped off later that day at a Calgary police station in what police have said was "medical distress." Soon after, he died in hospital. An autopsy confirmed that his death was a homicide.

The man who lives on the property, Trevor Kloschinsky, has been charged with first-degree murder. He was brought into Calgary court in shackles Monday for a brief appearance.

Clad in a blue remand-centre jumpsuit, the 46-year-old stood quietly in the prisoner's box while his matter was put over until Sept. 10.

"We're hoping that we'll have some semblance of disclosure by then. As you know these matters often take a bit of time before full disclosure comes in," said defence lawyer Kim Ross, who was only retained by Kloschinsky on Friday.

"I got about a three-page synopsis and haven't had a chance to review it yet. I don't expect to have full disclosure by then, but hopefully enough that I can start reviewing it," he added. "Then we'll start reviewing some of these issues."

A requested psychiatric evaluation for Kloschinsky hasn't happened, said Ross.

Nor has the lawyer had a detailed conversation with his client, who is being held at the Calgary Remand Centre.

"I'm guessing he's doing the best that he can be expected to be doing in this kind of situation."

— With files from Bill Graveland in Calgary