It’s called ‘lethal overwatch’

Joe McWilliams
For the Lakeside Leader

Some attendees at the Nov. 11 Slave Lake Remembrance Day ceremony in Slave Lake noticed something odd and a bit disturbing. Somewhere in the background stood an RCMP officer holding what looked like “an assault rifle” (according to what we were told).

This is not something we are used to seeing. But according to RCMP Sgt. Don Racette, it is now standard procedure across the country.

“It’s called ‘lethal overwatch,’” Racette tells The Leader. “It all came about because someone shot that soldier in Ottawa when he was doing sentry duty.”

An RCMP policy came out of that situation, Racette explains. Anytime RCMP members are on parade, or doing ceremonial duty of any kind, with their backs turned to a possible attack, another member (or members) will be armed and vigilant, just in case.

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