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“The book is a snapshot of RCMP officers working in very different times. They didn’t have personal radios, computers, their cellphones, and DNA testing was decades away,” Cowan said in a recent interview.

“Their stories had all the elements of a great read. There are gut-wrenching close calls, there was some really funny stories and then there was unspeakable tragedy.”

The careers of the officers varied widely, ranging from working for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to drug units to helicopter pilots, but the book also details how their work took a toll on their personal lives. Some of their families struggled with having to move every few years, others experienced PTSD and some faced tragedy within their own family even as they faced the tragedies of others at work.

These deeply personal stories give the public a rare insight into the person beyond the uniform, said Cowan.

After two years of work, Faces of the Force officially launches on Sunday.

The Pillars of the Force initiative also launches the same day, which allows RCMP members, retired members and supporters to pay to have their names engraved on bricks along the Princess Royal Walk outside the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina.

REGINA, SASK : September 18, 2020 -- Author Pamela Cowan, left, and Dan Toppings, executive director of the RCMP Heritage Centre, stand near the pillars at the centre on Dewdney Avenue in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 18, 2020. BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post
Author Pamela Cowan, left, and Dan Toppings, executive director of the RCMP Heritage Centre, stand near the pillars at the centre on Dewdney Avenue in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 18, 2020. Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader-Post

Dan Toppings, executive director of the RCMP Heritage Centre, said both projects are in line with the centre’s goal of sharing stories of the RCMP.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the RCMP Heritage Centre, which Toppings said will be welcome revenue with so few visitors coming to the centre right now.

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