EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says the families of two Edmonton police officers who were fatally shot this week will each receive $100,000 from the province's Heroes' Fund.
Smith made the announcement Saturday during her weekly provincewide radio program while addressing the deaths of Const. Brett Ryan and Const. Travis Jordan.
The officers were gunned down Thursday by a teen who later killed himself while they were responding to a non-violent domestic dispute at an apartment building.
"One of the things that we have to support families is our Heroes' Fund — we brought that in in 2020 — so the families will get $100,000 each to be able to help with the costs associated with having to deal with this horrible tragedy," Smith said Saturday.
The fund was established as part of the Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020, and the government's website says it is intended to recognize the sacrifices of first responders who die as a result of performing their duties.
Smith also encouraged people to donate to a GoFundMe for the families of the officers, which has been set up by the Edmonton Police Foundation in partnership with the Edmonton Police Association.
"If people want to provide some support to these grieving widows and their kids, you can go online to GoFundMe and just type in 'Edmonton Police Foundation.' It was already up to, I think, $218,000 before I came on air," she said.
"It's very rare when we lose an officer. It was a really rough week for everybody as we watched this tragedy unfold and got a few more details."
Ryan, 30, a former paramedic, lived just west of Edmonton in Spruce Grove, Alta. A friend said Ryan was married and his wife is expecting their first child.
Jordan, 35, who grew up in Nova Scotia, was remembered as a kind officer who went above and beyond in his job.
Smith also said during the broadcast that a regimental funeral would be held for the officers on March 26. But later in the afternoon, she tweeted the funeral details were "not fully confirmed and finalized at the moment" and asked the public to wait for Edmonton police to provide the date and full details when they become available.
The province's website says the Heroes' Fund is open to the families of police officers, firefighters, paramedics, sheriffs and provincial correction officers. It says eligibility is determined by the Workers' Compensation Board, which it says will identify eligible families using its fatality claim process and administer the funds accordingly.
It notes that between 2010 and 2019, there were 106 first responder deaths in Alberta. It also says the federal Memorial Grant Program for First Responders provides a one-time payment of up to $300,000 to families of first responders who die while on duty.
Edmonton police Deputy Chief Devin Laforce said Friday that police got a call about a non-violent domestic dispute where a mother was having trouble with her son. Ryan and Jordan were gunned down by the teen shortly after they arrived.
The shooter — a 16-year-old boy — briefly struggled for the gun with his 55-year-old mother, before wounding her and then taking his own life.
Laforce said nothing suggested the call would be dangerous or require a high-threat response, but says police had previously visited the apartment for what was categorized as a mental health complaint.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2023.
The Canadian Press