Canadians Are So Nice, Their Cops Cry Over the Death Of the Town Drunk

It isn’t often that you hear of the police having a cozy relationship with someone they’ve arrested on multiple occasions. It’s practically unheard of to hear that a police officer cried over the death of a criminal. Well, this tale of unorthodox camaraderie isn’t happening with the NYPD or LAPD. Instead, we have to travel over the border to the Great North for this heartwarming tale.

In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, a man by the name of Alvin Cote had been arrested for public intoxication more than anyone else in the city’s history, or so the story goes. He lacked teeth and made his bed on park benches, as most homeless people do. However, this homeless alcoholic died last month at the age of 59. And he was pretty well known among the Saskatoon police force.

“It's not often that you can arrest somebody on multiple occasions and end up being friends with them. But such was the case with Alvin,” an officer wrote in a memorial blog post about Cote recently. The officer-blogger goes on to describe how Cote's death was able to invoke tears. 

Officer Const. Derek Chesney choked up on the telephone during an interview talking about Cote, the Edmonton Journal says. It turned out that Cote allegedly suffered from abuse for years as a child, which may have triggered his drinking problem.

The memorial blog post noted how Cote would disappear for weeks at a time but would always return, claiming to have gone to places such as Toronto or L.A. And as much as the officers arrested Cote, they equally kept an eye out for him as well, offering food and mittens. Cote was also known for losing his glasses so much that at the police station, a box of donated glasses would be waiting for Cote whenever he may have needed them.

The post ends with warm parting words: “It brings a tear to my eye to think of the bad things that happened to Alvin in his past to push him to lead the life that he led, but in that, I do hope that he will find peace wherever he now may be. Farewell my friend, you will be missed by many.”

The running joke that Canadians are ridiculously kind is a one that has never lost its momentum. This instance of an uncanny friendship showcases not only a bit of humanity in the law, but also reinforces the stereotype. 

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Zainab Akande

Born and raised in New York City, Zainab is a University of Delaware alum, currently working on obtaining her M.A. in journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York. http://zainabakande.com/

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