The park currently called Mountain Vista Park will be given a name change after city council voted last night at its regular meeting to support a request by Inspector Dana Hart of the local RCMP detachment to honour a fallen officer whose 30th anniversary of his death is being marked this year.
The park, located north of the Mountain Vista subdivision on the bench, is to be named “Constable Mike Buday Park” after the officer who specialized in police dog handling and emergency response and who was killed in the line of duty in 1985, according to Hart.
“He did most of his policing service here,” Hart told council.
A dedication event is to be held March 19 at the park to mark the anniversary of his death, an event which will be attended by Buday’s two brothers and sisters, as well as colleagues from the RCMP.
In 1985 Buday was dispatched along with a RCMP emergency response team to Teslin Lake on the Yukon border to arrest a violent madman living in the bush.
Buday was shot from behind when the suspect snuck up to their camp along a frozen lake.
“Within 400 yards of the members the suspect broke from the shoreline, entered the bush and circled behind Constable Mike Buday,” says a letter to council from Hart.
The suspect was then shot by Buday’s fellow officers.
Buday was only 27 at the time of his murder and had started his service in Terrace in 1978.
He was accompanied by his police service dog Trooper at the time of his murder.
“He was an avid outdoorsman and very well-known within the community,” said Hart. “I understand that some members of council or within the city recall Mike quite well.”
Mayor Carol Leclerc said she remembered “that sad time” when Buday was shot in ’85.
Hart said that the dedication would also bring more attention to the park.
“Not that many members of our community are aware of it,” said city official David Block, adding that there is a new subdivision planned north of the park which will make it more widely used. He described the park as well-maintained and featuring a path as well as kids play area.
Hart said the RCMP can pay for the sign which will display Buday’s name and possibily a description of his life.
Councillor Stacey Tyers said Buday’s family has been working on a park dedication in Atlin, located on Teslin Lake, and hopes the dedication would still be pursued.
Hart responded that the RCMP still support that dedication as well.
A plaque with Buday’s name is located at the entrance to the Terrace RCMP detachment.