Regimental funeral for SQ officer Sgt. Maureen Breau in Trois-Rivières

“She was a good person, always smiling,” says Sgt. Marc Tessier, Quebec provincial police officer, of SQ Sgt. Maureen Breau, killed in the line of duty. Thousands of officers paying tribute at her funeral. Alyssia Rubertucci reports.

By News Staff

“She was, first of all, a mother. [Sg.t Maureen Breau] had been also a good person, always smiling when you talk to her. She had a connection. She would listen to you. And she was devoted to her job, her community,” said Sgt. Marc Tessier, as thousands of officers from police forces across Canada and the U.S. pay tribute Thursday to fallen Sûreté du Québec (SQ) Sgt. Maureen Breau, in Trois-Rivières – about 140 kilometers northeast of Montreal. She was killed in the line of duty on March 27 in Louiseville.

“She had 20 years of service. That’s why she will receive that medal. And she was a sergeant. She was going to be a detective. But unfortunately, she gave her life to secure people from the province of Quebec,” said Sgt. Hugues Beaulieu.

A procession with 4,000 officers for three kilometers to the church Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-du-Cap.

The 42-year-old sergeant leaves behind two children and a husband who is also a member of the provincial police. 

“I do feel a bit of love, too, towards her, but also towards Mme Breau’s kids and her husband and everybody that worked with her. I have instructors that were with her at school. So it’s hard to see, but it’s a beautiful day in the sun and all,” added Vanessa Wilson, Police tech student.

“Everyone’s here. It’s like a group hug saying, we’re with you. I understand what you’re going through and we want to do everything that we can to support you,” Sgt. Marc Tessier, SQ.

“It’s just to support the Quebec policing family, to show that nationally we are thinking of them and there are a lot of their loss. And to show that, we appreciate Sgt. Breau service and her sacrifice. And we’re here to to honour that,” added Andrew Harris, drill Sgt. Major for the Peel Regional Police.  

(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

Surete du Quebec officer Maureen Breau, who was fatally stabbed on March 27, 2023. (Courtesy: Surete du Quebec-handout)

Q officer Maureen Breau funeral

Funeral for SQ Sgt. Maureen Breau, killed in the line of duty March 27, 2023. (CREDIT: Alyssia Rubertucci, CityNews Image)

Q officer Maureen Breau funeral medal

Medal that will be given to honour Sgt. Maureen Breau, killed in the line of duty March 27, 2023. (CREDIT: Alyssia Rubertucci, CityNews Image)

 

The funeral service for Breau, held at the Notre-Dame-du-Cap Sanctuary basilica, included speeches from members of the Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec government and people close to Breau. 

Sgt. Véronique Nadeau held back tears while she spoke of Breau who she considered to be her best friend. Nadeau said that once she entered our hearts, it was forever. “I love you my friend,” she concluded, in French. 

Geneviève Guilbault, the deputy premier, said that March 27 will be a sad anniversary of the death of Sgt. Breau, but that she should be remembered everyday. Guilbault also encouraged Quebeckers to show more appreciation to police officers.

Johanne Beausoleil, the director general of the Sûreté du Québec, thanked the police who came from coast-to-coast to participate in the service. “The presence and support means a lot to us, thank you,” she added. Beausoleil said that Breau’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Officers from 65 police departments began entering the basilica just shortly before 12:45p.m. Members from the Sûreté du Québec and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police could be seen taking their seats in the church where choral music was performed and a photo of Breau was displayed.

A casket covered with the Quebec flag was carried into the basilica by eight members of the SQ. The service began at 1:30p.m. and finished just after 3p.m. when the Quebec flag draping Breau’s casket was removed, folded and handed to Maureen’s husband by deputy premier Guilbault. Amazing Grace was sung by the choir as the casket was walked out of the basilica by the SQ.

Prior to the start of the funeral service, the live video stream provided by the SQ began with a video commemorating the life of Sgt. Breau. The video shared images from her time serving as a police officer and her life as a friend and family member. Several messages of condolences from Breau’s colleagues and community members were also included as well as images from several police departments participating in moments of silence.

Breau was killed while responding to a call of a man making threats. the suspect allegedly attacked her as officers tried to arrest him, and is said to have fatally stabbed Breau.

He was then shot dead by police. 

The province’s police watchdog, the BEI, is investigating and the Quebec coroner will hold a public inquest into the event – at the government’s request

“My sister was a police officer for the SQ, it was hard when, I heard the news, she sounded to me like switching both off. Now I’m like, Oh, it could have been my sister. So it was hard,” said Wilson.

“Tragically, recently, we’ve lost a number that, sadly, I can’t even think of right now. And that when those officers go to work, if they’re not able to go home to their families, we’re here to take out the torch and carry on the mission they started and keep them alive in our memories,” said Sgt. Major Harris.

“It’s hard for sure, of course, But we have to go through. We have to stay strong. For the family. For the police. Family. We have to stay focused because the jobs still going on,” explained Sgt. Beaulieu.

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