(Trois-Rivières) They came from all over Quebec, some driving for hours at night to be here to pay their last respects to Sergeant Maureen Breau, who was stabbed to death at the age of 42 during an intervention on March 27. .

Dressed in their uniforms, more than 3,000 police officers began to parade in Trois-Rivières at 11:30 a.m. Their march will take them to the Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-Du-Cap, where the civic funeral of the Sûreté du Québec police officer ( SQ) will unfold.

“The vast majority of police officers who travel today do so on their own time. Some daytime police officers have been released, but the vast majority are on their time,” said Sergeant Marc Tessier of the SQ.

“Police is like a big family,” he says. When a tragic death occurs, everyone pulls together. »

In addition to the SQ, police officers from 80 organizations are on site, including Montreal, Quebec and Gatineau. The procession left at 11:30 a.m. with the limousine in front carrying the family of Maureen Breau, including her two young children and her husband, an investigator in Trois-Rivières.

Then come the colleagues of the mother, who worked at the SQ station in Maskinongé. Then, it will be the colleagues of his spouse.

“It affects all police officers, the death of a police officer or a policewoman, it does not matter the color of our uniform. Some police officers will think back to interventions they have made and say to themselves: that could have been me, ”says Sergeant Tessier.

The ceremony in the basilica should last two hours. Maureen Breau’s family and spouse are not going to speak to the media.

The president of the Association of SQ retirees had traveled from Quebec. Dressed in his best clothes, André Lavoie looked disappointed.

“We’ve seen others, but it still hurts. And when it’s someone young like that, a mother with children… It’s not easy. It reminds us that life is short,” he said.

This will be the first civic funeral in 33 years at the SQ. “The last civic funeral, where a police officer died violently, was Corporal Marcel Lemay in 1990,” said Sergeant Marc Tessier. The young policeman had been shot and killed during the Oka crisis.

Maureen Breau will receive a posthumous medal on Thursday for her 20 years of exemplary service. It was a medal she was about to receive.

The mother of the family was stabbed to death on March 27 during an intervention with a man who had threatened neighbors in an apartment building in Louiseville. Isaac Brouillard Lessard, who was shot that day, was known to authorities.

The Mental Disorders Review Board wrote that it was convinced that Isaac Brouillard Lessard “still represents, because of his mental state, a significant security risk”.

Ms. Breau’s patrol partner was injured that day. The man “is really well surrounded,” said Sergeant Tessier.