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'I'm truly sorry that we've failed you': Chief Supt. Darren Campbell to victims’ families

On Tuesday, in his final moments of his two-day testimony at the Mass Casualty Commission, Chief Supt. Darren Campbell apologized to the victims’ families and promised to do better.

“I apologize for failing,” he said, breaking down and pausing for several seconds.

He mentioned this was the first time he had cried in two-and-a-half years.

“I'm truly sorry that we've failed you,” Campbell said. “And I promise that we'll do better.”

Most families he was talking to weren't in the conference room where the inquiry was holding its proceedings.

But Ryan Farrington, the son of victim Dawn Gulenchyn, was downstairs and listening.

“He is the first person to come out and publicly apologize - and to me that means the world,” Farrington said.

Farrington called the apology "very unexpected" and considered it wholehearted.

“I’m glad to finally hear someone say ‘We’re sorry and we hope to do better.’ Hopefully there’s not a next time, but I’m glad to finally hear ‘I’m sorry. We let you down and we’ll do better next time.' That meant the world."

Minutes before the apology, Commissioner Chair Michael MacDonald asked Campbell about the RCMP’s delay in finding five victims' bodies.

“Sunday morning there would've been a lot of resources to follow the threat, but yet it was the evening before those bodies were found,” MacDonald said. “And that's something I'm having difficulty getting my head around, so with your experience, your review, can you help me out there?”

Campbell said his experience is based on one or two scenes, not 16.

“In terms of the scope and enormity of the situation, and the confusion that the perpetrator caused and the excessive numbers of taskings and the necessity to establish one, just a fraction of awareness of the scope and magnitude would've taken some time,” he said.

Campbell testified RCMP are understaffed, that he asked for an independent review of the RCMP response that never happened, and that he stands by his notes.

After a conference call with the RCMP commissioner in April 2020, Campbell wrote that Brenda Lucki had promised federal officials would reveal the type of guns Gabriel Wortman used and that this was tied to pending gun control legislation.

“I stand by my notes,” Campbell said, adding he wasn’t privy to what transpired between the commission’s office and government officials.

“Any interference, whether it be political or otherwise, that would’ve deterred us from properly investigating these offenses and seeking justice that the families deserved was unacceptable for me,” he said. Top Stories


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