Tribute to Cst. Heidi Stevenson

The following message was written by Sergeant Dave Thompson (Ret’d) of the Vancouver Police Department in honour of Constable Heidi Stevenson.  He has given his permission for it to be used on the Vancouver Division web site:

On Friday April 14, 2020 – “Wear Red Friday”

A member of the Vancouver Police Department’s Mounted Unit wears a red scarf and the horse has an RCMP shabrack and Strathcona boots reversed in the stirrups in memory of Constable Hedi Stevenson

Ric Hall


“As most of my friends know. I have taken to writing as a bit of a hobby. Sometimes my best made plans fall apart and I can find humor in the events worth sharing. Other times I use writing to help me when I am troubled. This week the events in Nova Scotia have troubled me deeply.

I spent most of my adult life in policing in Vancouver, and truth be told, I would do it again if I could, in a heartbeat! The job itself had its ups and downs but the people I worked with were amazing.

Policing creates an incredible bond between officers that stays with them all of their lives. It is often called “camaraderie” or “esprit de corps” but baseball teams can have that. Our bond is much deeper.

It is inevitable that many times you will find yourself at a call where the “shit” is much deeper than you expected or escalating much faster than you expected. When that happens, you call for cover. Usually you call for “routine cover” and a couple more cops come directly. If, however you get on the radio and bark “COVER – NOW!” Then they come in numbers, fast and hard and with bad attitudes! Doesn’t matter if they don’t know you. Doesn’t even matter if they dislike you! They come! I was lucky to be in a big city. Cover would be there in minutes if not seconds.

We couldn’t do our jobs if that wasn’t part of our culture and the number of cops, we lose would be much higher. This is drilled into us from day one. We all know that our life depends on our fellow officers. In my last five years I was seconded to the RCMP. Nothing changed. Same bond and I made more great life time friendships!

People who work together normally describe the others at work as “colleagues” or “co-workers”. In policing we call those people “Brothers” and “Sisters” and we do that because we genuinely regard each other as family.

I know that there were many tragic deaths in Nova Scotia this week and I don’t diminish the tragedy of a single one. Heidi Stevenson’s death just hits me harder because she was a “Sister”. The other thing is that everyone else got caught in that nightmare. They had no choices. Heidi knowingly put herself in it! As the facts come out, we will probably learn that she was outgunned, she was certainly out sized and she had seconds to make decisions whereas that monster had spent months planning this. She was policing a sleepy rural area that would not have had a great number of police officers so even if she barked “COVER-NOW!” it would still take time to get there in numbers no matter how fast they were coming!

At the end of the day a 48-year-old, wife and mother of two, decided to engage an armed and prepared mass murderer. She could have hung back and waited for cover but, for whatever reason, she decided that she didn’t have that time? My guess would be that she decided that there would be more deaths if she didn’t act.

These are just my guesses. We will have to wait for inquisitions to conclude before all the facts come out but I think this country has lost an extraordinarily courageous and unselfish hero.

I hope this Country honors her fittingly; and by that, I mean put up statues and name a “Heidi Stevenson Day”. I hope this Country takes care of her family and I hope this Country remembers her – always! Please feel free to “share”.



My sister who I never met
Who now is one I’ll not forget
My sister who has taken leave.
And left us here;
In shock and grief.

We stay behind here lost in thought
Why should you rise when we did not?
We marvel at your courage Dear!
And what you did?
Despite the fear!

You lived so well, so kind and true!
And duties’ call? You saw that through!
You’d time for talk, and time for kids …
We’re just so proud.
Of all you did!

We know just what you left behind;
Your family love; the strongest kind!
Their future you so wished to see!
And spend the years
With them in peace.

The Nation’s cops all mourn for you
As all the First Responders do.
We miss you Sister – that is true.
For those in red
And those in blue.

Thank you Cst. Heidi Stevenson for your service!

David Thompson, Sergeant (Ret)
Vancouver Police Dept.