Constable Derek Pineo
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
End of Watch: Friday, July 20, 2012
Cause: Automobile accident
Tour of Duty: 5 years
Badge Number: Not available
Constable Derek Pineo was killed in a single vehicle crash when
his patrol car struck a moose on Highway 14, near Wilkie, Saskatchewan, at approximately 2:00 am.
Constable Pineo had served with the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police for five years. He is survived by his wife, three children,
Constable Derek Pineo was working his dream job.
He would often sit at his desk, hands clasped behind his head as he mused, "I can’t believe they pay me to do this."
Flags at RCMP buildings across the country will fly at half-mast for the next few days following the Wilkie officer’s death early Friday morning.
He died when his police cruiser hit a moose on Highway 14, about seven kilometres west of Wilkie.
Pineo, 38, moved to the detachment from his first posting in Nipawin at the beginning of the month, with his wife, Natasha, and their children.
Members of the Nipawin detachment were in shock on Friday and spent the day reminiscing about the good-humoured NASCAR fan.
"We’ve laughed more today than we’ve cried, because that’s how we remembered Derek," said Staff Sgt. Barry Thomas, who was Pineo’s commanding officer in Nipawin for two years.
"He was an integral part of my detachment, but he was also a major part of our moral. He was just that kind of guy – he loved to help people. He made coming to work enjoyable some days, just with his attitude. He’s going to be missed."
Pineo had been a Mountie for close to five years.
"He loved to do traffic and … loved to go out there and make sure the community was safe and the roads were safe," Thomas said.
"Especially each September, on the first two or three days of school, he loved being out there reminding people that school was back on and school zones were in effect, and making sure kids were safe."
Pineo has three children of his own, which is how Nipawin councillor and former school principal Michael Botterill got to to know him.
"He was always dropping into the school for one thing or another," Botterill said. "He was very familyoriented with a lot of respect for the kids, and I had the greatest respect for him. He was very kind, very wellliked. When he left, everyone was wishing he didn’t have to go."
By all accounts, Pineo was also very community-minded.
He worked on a snowmobile safety project in Nipawin and, shortly before leaving the town, organized a Car Show and Shine over the Father’s Day weekend, with proceeds going to the town’s Habitat for Humanity project.
"On his own he got lots of local groups involved, the town and the fire department," Thomas said.
"As it turned out, Father’s Day here was horrible and rainy and cold, and so just about everyone went out to this Car Show and Shine and it raised quite a bit of money.
"He was just that kind of guy. He was an organizer."
Before life in the Mounties, Pineo had been a car salesman in Nova Scotia, where his parents still live.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Paul Dawson said Pineo was responding to a call and travelling from Unity to Wilkie when the collision happened.
"It’s a very tough situation for all members of the force, but particularly members of that detachment," he said.
"I think every member has been in a situation like Derek, in the early morning responding to calls in a rural areas … and so I think it does hit home for members across the country. We’re all part of the same family, so it’s a definite loss for everybody."
Thomas echoed those sentiments. "He wasn’t just a co-worker … he was family," he said.
"It’s not just a thing we say – the members of the family are part of the detachment. We mourn the loss of Derek, but we also feel the pain of Natasha and the kids as well."
Flags will fly half-mast around the country until sunset on the night of his funeral, details of which had not been finalized on Friday afternoon.