Pubdate: Fri, 04 Mar 2005
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Province
Author: Ian Austin


'You Never Know Who's Behind The Door Or In A Car'

Mounties go to work each day knowing it could be their last.

Cpl. Tom Seaman of North Vancouver RCMP said the potential of being killed 
on the job weighs heavily, especially after four Mounties were shot to 
death yesterday.

"I think most officers think about that every day when they come to work," 
Seaman said at the sombre North Vancouver police headquarters. "I think 
about it every day when I say goodbye to my kids.

"My wife always says, 'Be safe.'"

Seaman started his policing career 23 years ago at Evansburg, Alta., just 
down the road from where the four officers were gunned down.

He says things have changed dramatically during his career.

"When I started, we didn't even have bulletproof vests," he said. "Today, 
we don't go out of the building without a vest on."

Seaman said there's a potential for danger every time police enter a home 
or pull over a car.

"You never know who's behind a door, or in a car," he said. "It's a 
dangerous situation, because you don't know know anything about the people 
in that car, or in that home."

The corporal said life on the street has been getting increasingly 
dangerous, "with the number of guns out there, and violence seen as a 
source of entertainment."

"We're trying to protect people's lives and property, and we're put in 
situations where our lives are at risk and in danger.

"But we do it because we believe in the job, and most of us love our job."

Seaman admits he and his wife are split over whether to encourage their two 
young sons to join up.

"I'd have them sign up, no hesitation, but my wife doesn't feel that way," 
he said.

"But for me, if they joined the RCMP, it would probably be one of the 
proudest moments of my life."
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