EDMONTON — A senior officer says more people are interested in joining the Edmonton Police Service after two constables were killed responding to a call on March 16.
Acting Deputy Chief Kellie Morgan told a news conference Wednesday that police agencies across the country have been experiencing recruitment issues over the last few years.
"Since this horrible tragedy happened, we have actually had an increase in people looking to apply to the EPS, which I think is incredible," said Morgan.
"And it speaks to the people who are now stepping up, who perhaps have had the calling to be a police officer and to have a life of service to the community."
Edmonton police media adviser Cheryl Voordenhout said in an email that the service has noticed a small rise in interest from people about joining, but it's impossible to pinpoint the cause.
She said the police service received 140 applications in the first quarter of 2023, 50 of which came in March alone. In 2022, those numbers were 130 applications for the first quarter of the year, 30 of which were received in March.
"It is still early, and there is no way to say with certainty what the cause is for the increase, but we can state that recruiting has increased marginally."
Const. Brett Ryan and Const. Travis Jordan were killed by a 16-year-old boy after responding to a family dispute in northwest Edmonton.
The boy also shot his mother, who remains in hospital, before killing himself with the gun. The shootings are still under investigation.
On Monday, a regimental funeral was held for Ryan and Jordan that was attended by thousands of officers from across Canada and the United States, as well as emergency medical services and fire department members.
During the Wednesday press conference, Morgan and Edmonton Police Association president Curtis Hoople detailed the mental health resources that are available to officers and their families.
Hoople and Morgan both thanked the community for their ongoing support.
"It was magic," said Hoople of the regimental funeral.
Quebec provincial police Sgt. Maureen Breau was fatally stabbed Monday night during an arrest.
Morgan said her death has added to the grief in Edmonton and that officers in the city stand with Quebec police during their time of mourning.
"Just like every other police agency across Canada and into the United States supported us, and were there for us because it gave us the strength, the resilience, to get through this together, we will also offer those same supports to them as well," she said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.
Angela Amato, The Canadian Press