WATCH ABOVE: Several Calgary police homicide detectives have found a way to help channel all the negativity they see daily on the job. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.
CALGARY – A unique event north of Calgary is bringing together some of the best of the west with people who deal with the very worst on the front lines.
Dozens of first responders are gathering for the 33rd Calgary Police Rodeo this weekend.
“Something between that connection between man and animal, I don’t know what it is, but rodeo brings us back to nature and God’s creation,” said Calgary Police Service Det. Mike Cavilla.
Cavilla’s job is a stressful one. He only deals with death and grieving families.
The 20-year-veteran cop is the lead investigator dealing with the Meika Jordan case. Six-year-old Meika was abused, and murdered.
“The child cases take a bit of an emotional toll on you as an investigator,” he said.
Det. Matt Demarino is the primary investigator in the worst mass murder in Calgary’s history.
“We call it Operation Butler, because of course it happened on Butler Crescent,” he said. “It was a large file where five young people were taken. That was the biggest file in my career, absolutely.”
“I have a family myself, so my heart goes out to those families.”
Demarino said he heads to the country to unwind, calling it “such a beautiful experience being on a horse and being out here.”
Cst. Clint Buhler is juggling both worlds, working for homicide, and making a run for the Canadian Finals Rodeo as a professional cowboy.
“I go grab my horse and I go rope. I forget about everything else,” said Buhler. “It’s good to have a getaway. It’s good to have something else you can do to take your mind off it; you shut your mind off when you leave. If you dwell on it for a long time, that will weigh you down.”