Since he was 14, Const. Willi Chou's dream was to be a Mountie.
Chou died unexpectedly March 19, just 13 months into his first posting with the RCMP.
He was 27. Colleagues at the detachment say they will miss his smile, dedication and professionalism.
It was uncharacteristic when he failed to show up for work, so an officer wen to check on him. He'd died of a burst brain aneurysm.
An honour student, he finished his training in Regina in 2012. In the short time since his arrival in Nanaimo, his colleagues recognized skills and traits they knew would take him far in police work.
"That's what makes this thing so tragic. He had such potential," said Sgt. Phil Lue, his training officer.
A straight-A student at his Mississauga high school, he earned honours in criminal forensics at the University of Toronto.
"We always used to joke he was way too smart to be a police officer," said Lue, laughing. "We used to joke that one day everyone would be working for Willi." His tact and professionalism impressed the public.
One woman, upon hearing the news of his death, called the detachment to offer her condolences. She was a victim on a case he was assigned to.
"She said he was so compassionate," Lue said. "She wanted to talk to his mom, about how great he was. It's not the kind of thing we get every day."
Lue, who marks 20 years with the force in October, said of all the men he'd trained, Chou was "probably the most humble, genuinely good people you'd meet."
Chou is survived by his father Lee Chou, who lives in Taiwan, his mother Sharon Sun and his sister Linda Chou, both of Mississauga.
The service is Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's Anglican Church, on Chapel Street. Drivers can expect short traffic delays for the memorial procession.
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