Const. Sarah Beckett: a Mountie and a mother

RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett always believed as a mother that whenever there was a police call about a child, she had to move quicker — do more.

That’s what the 32-year-old West Shore RCMP constable — killed early Tuesday when a pickup slammed into the driver’s side of her police cruiser — told Colwood’s Jen Warnock only weeks ago.

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“She said that whenever she heard a call about a child in need, she always felt like she had to get there faster and had to do a little bit more because she’s a mom, too,” Warnock said Wednesday.

Beckett, a Spectrum Community School graduate, married in 2009 and has two young boys. The youngest was born in February 2014.

Beckett had been with the RCMP since 2005 and had returned to work from maternity leave in February 2015.

When Warnock heard the news about Beckett’s death Tuesday, she was heartbroken, like many others who left flowers at the West Shore detachment, signed condolence websites and donated money.

“My heart just sank,” she said.

But it hit Warnock harder than most, because only weeks ago, Beckett was in her living room, comforting Warnock’s youngest of three children.

Logan Warnock, 7, had walked away from Happy Valley Elementary School on March 1.

“When things get emotional for him, he just leaves. Unfortunately, he’s running away, but he’s running home to somewhere he feels safe,” Warnock said. “This was the second time.” The school called 911. The Warnocks’ home is about a 20-minute walk from the school.

Beckett responded to the emergency call with her partner, driving around in the vicinity of the Warnocks’ home, talking to passersby and a nearby road-construction crew. She then searched the area on foot with the young boy’s father, John.

Beckett found the boy hiding between his home and the neighbour’s, under a deck. The boy was emotional.

“She coaxed him to come out and come into the house and to sit down and have a talk about safety,” Warnock said.

It was a traumatic experience for her son that could have been worse if not handled with kid gloves.

“She was just really supportive and took the time to get down at our son’s level and to have a chat with him,” Warnock said.

“She got down on her knees, face to face with him, and introduced herself as Officer Sarah,” Warnock said. Her partner did the same.

“It didn’t make him feel scared,” Warnock said. “She treated him as a little person with valid feelings. She explained they were just there to help him be safe.”

The officer exhibited patience and understanding, Warnock said.

The little boy hasn’t run away from school since.

His mother can’t bear to tell him about Beckett’s death. “I don’t want him to know someone so supportive of him is gone and in such a tragic way.”

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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