Year after year, Stacey Barnes helps to organize a vigil for the late Cst Christopher Worden. She believes keeping his memory alive is important to the whole community.
“He will never be forgotten in our town and he sacrificed his life,” she told Cabin Radio.
Barnes, an administrator with the Town of Hay River, knew Worden personally. Her child was the same age as Worden’s daughter, and they attended playgroups together.
His daughter was eight months old when, in 2007, Worden – stationed in Hay River since 2005 with the RCMP – was fatally shot while pursuing a suspect alone in the early hours of a Saturday morning.
This Sunday marks 12 years to the day since Worden lost his life. Emrah Bulatci was found guilty in 2009 of first-degree murder. He had shot Worden four times.
Shortly after Worden’s murder and the shooting death of Cst Doug Scott in Kimmirut, Nunavut, RCMP policy on responding to incidents alone changed. Single-member detachments are no longer operational in the NWT.
RCMP members rotating through the community of Hay River keep Worden’s memory alive.
“Every couple years we get a whole new crew, and they all come and attend the vigil, even though they didn’t know Cst Worden,” Barnes said. “And we just like to show our respect and how important he was to the town.”
The candlelit vigil starts at 6pm on Sunday at the town’s recreation centre. A walk to the RCMP detachment will begin the evening, followed by a moment of silence and remarks.