The former detachment commander of the Bashaw RCMP and current commander of the Stettler detachment, Staff Sgt. Bruce Holliday, has passed away.
“At a time like this, the right words are difficult to find,” reads a statement signed by Bashaw Mayor Rob McDonald that was posted on the town’s Facebook page on Jan. 26.
“RCMP Sgt. Bruce Holliday was so much more than our local detachment commander. It was quite evident in all our interactions that he cared deeply for our community and its residents. Clearly this was so much more than a job to Bruce — it was his life,” said McDonald.
“Bruce’s presence will be sorely missed and he will be impossible to replace. He was truly our friend and we owe him a debt of gratitude. Our thoughts are with Bruce’s family during this time.”
“In just six years, Staff Sgt. Bruce Holliday helped create a legacy of kindness, collaboration, support and caring in our community,” said Bashaw Coun. Jackie Northey in a Facebook post.
“He was a protector of all things — his country, his community, his friends, the young constables he worked with and most importantly, his beautiful family.”
Northey added Holliday co-founded a model of service that proved to strengthen and sustain vulnerable, at-risk community members throughout the region.
“Though he is no longer here with us, his legacy will continue to inspire and motivate us as we broaden the work in other rural communities,” she said.
Sgt. Holliday received a promotion to Staff Sergeant and transitioned to detachment commander of Stettler in the summer of 2021, where he continued to make a difference.
The Town of Stettler issued a statement attributed to Mayor Sean Nolls.
“Staff Sgt. Holliday was an absolute leader from the moment he entered our community. He made an immeasurable difference in the time he served Stettler, and he embodied community policing at it’s finest. Bruce was our friend, and a friend to the community.”
According to Stettler Mayor Sean Nolls, Holliday would look for solutions to problems the community was facing with the understanding that the arrest of someone wasn’t always the answer.
“He was a community officer versus a police officer,” Nolls said.
“He was one of the best officers I ever worked with. I miss my friend.”
Media relations officer Cpl. Troy Savinkoff said the RCMP acknowledges the passing of Holliday and that the details are still under investigation.
He added the members of the RCMP across the province are “affected greatly” by this loss.
Holliday had 18 years of service with the RCMP.