A Surrey Mountie well-known for his commitment to the community is being remembered as “a gentle but formidable spirit.”
Sgt. Marc Searle – a South Surrey resident – died suddenly Tuesday.
“He leaves behind a wife and three children and a bereaved city,” Mayor Linda Hepner said Wednesday in a post to Facebook. “Thank you Marc for your service, your constant smile, your indomitable spirit, your dedicated work in the Newton District Office. Our prayers go out to Marc’s friends, co-workers and especially to his family.”
A post by Surrey RCMP Friday morning notes Searle was “well-known for his close work with the community.”
“He was passionate about working with residents and business owners to continuously improve the livability of Surrey. Marc will be dearly missed by us all and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
Detachment responses to condolences on Twitter in the days following Searle’s death note he “was taken much too soon.”
“We continue on with heavy hearts today.”
The affable officer started with Surrey RCMP in 2000.
Among projects he championed was the large-scale Lifesaver 1000, an effort to teach 1,000 South Surrey students basic CPR; and, a campaign to identify and mark the graves of 36 veterans at the Sunnyside cemetery.
In 2002, Searle spearheaded redevelopment of South Surrey’s Forever Garden, which was created in memory of murdered teen Pamela Cameron and others who died tragically young on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
In a letter of condolence posted to Facebook, Newton Business Improvement Association executive director Philip Aguirre names Searle’s “joyful smile and the statement that he had been waiting for me for a long time” as one of his fondest memories of the officer. Searle was district commander of the Newton RCMP sub-station when Aguirre joined the BIA.
“Marc took me under his wing and I saw him as my mentor,” Aguirre writes. “He built relationships and influenced people with his dedication and knowledge.
“Marc demonstrated his quality of character every day.”
In 2012, Searle was awarded an Officer in Charge Certificate of Appreciation, for his “outstanding initiative and creativity in support of community projects and Surrey detachment programs from 2001 to 2012.”
Last July, he was appointed to the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in recognition of outstanding commitment to policing and service to Canadians.