When police officers say they put their lives on the line when they go to work, there's a growing number of incidents to show they're right.
Last month, Cpl. Jean Michaud was shot and wounded during a traffic stop in Kamloops. In June, three young police constables were shot to death in Moncton, during a shooting rampage by Justin Bourque.
For many, that brought back grim memories of March 3, 2005 when four RCMP officers were ambushed and killed by a gunman in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.
Around the world there have been a number of recent fatal police shootings in Paris and in New York City.
Heed worries that some sort of barrier or code is being broken — that with these shootings, more unbalanced individuals will consider that an option.
And he says that could lead to the militarization of police forces.
"You just have to look at some of the coverage today," said Heed. "You see camouflaged officers in France, in Belgium, with long rifles wearing heavy tactical vests patrolling the streets. I hope we don't get to that point in Canada."
Heed says improved weapons and training aren't the only answer. He says more work needs to be put into prevention, into identifying, troubled, aggressive individuals and keeping weapons out of their hands.
The former police chief says the shooting of police officers is a problem for the entire community and needs a community solution.
He says officers can't help but feel on edge when their colleagues are targeted, and it's important they feel they're part of the community; supported — not isolated.
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