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Police officer killed in avalanche posthumously promoted to detective

Const. Wade Tittemore of the Nelson Police Department was killed in a backcountry avalanche on Jan. 9. (Nelson Police Department - image credit)
Const. Wade Tittemore of the Nelson Police Department was killed in a backcountry avalanche on Jan. 9. (Nelson Police Department - image credit)

The British Columbia constable who died in an avalanche last week has been posthumously promoted to detective for his dedication as an officer and commitment to improving his skills in the department.

Nelson Police Service Chief Const. Donovan Fisher announced Wade Tittemore's promotion at a celebration of life held Wednesday, saying the force had already planned to move the constable up to their general investigation section before he died.

Tittemore, 43, died Jan. 9 after being buried in an avalanche while skiing with a colleague on a mountain northwest of Kaslo, B.C., in the province's southeast.

He was married and had two elementary-school-aged sons.

The funeral was streamed online with permission of the family, but the gathering itself at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson was for invited guests only.

'A phenomenal dad'

At the gathering his sister-in-law, Shannon Cross, told the crowd he had a gentle soul and kind demeanour, and was full of empathy.

"Wade had a way of making people feel so good and so special," she said. "He was loyal, honest, full of integrity and proud."

She described him as a loving husband and father, who always made time for "coffee talk" with his wife and passed on his love of music to his children.

Tittemore was a 15-year police veteran who worked for the Calgary Police Service before moving to Nelson. The Nelson force has just 20 officers, all well known across the mountain-oriented community.

Sara Westnedge, a pastor in the community who knew Tittemore through the daycare their families shared, said he always had time for his children.

"He was such a phenomenal dad. He was such a present father to his boys, and he gave them a lot of his time."

Watch | Avalanche kills off-duty police officer in B.C. back country:

Colleague still recovering

Tittemore and his colleague, Const. Mathieu Nolet, were swept away in the backcountry avalanche on Jardine SE3, a subsidiary peak of Mt. Jardine.

The City of Nelson says Nolet is still recovering in the ICU unit of a local area hospital.

"He is making incremental progress, but has a long road ahead in his recovery," city communications co-ordinator Ginger Lester said in a statement.

People wishing to send condolences to the family of either officer can use the email address condolences@nelson.ca.