Sgt. Shinder Kirk is shown here during a 2013 press conference in Cranbrook with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. (Black Press file photo)

Sgt. Shinder Kirk is shown here during a 2013 press conference in Cranbrook with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. (Black Press file photo)

Retired Abbotsford Police sergeant dies in head-on crash

Shinder Kirk died Saturday in collision involving two pickup trucks in Nanaimo

A retired Abbotsford Police sergeant and former media spokesperson has been identified as the vicim of a fatal head-on crash Saturday in Nanaimo.

Shinder Kirk was the driver of a Chevy pickup truck that was involved in a collision with a Ford pickup at about 1:50 p.m. on Cedar Road near Cedar Bridge.

Nanaimo RCMP said two passengers from the Chevy were airlifted to hospital, with one taken to Vancouver and the other to Victoria. Their injuries were serious but not life-threatening, according to police.

The 22-year-old male driver of the Ford and his adult female passenger suffered minor injuries that did not require hospitalization.

RCMP said no causes for the crash have yet been determined, but the investigation will continue, including mechanical inspections of the vehicles involved.

Investigators said they do not believe that alcohol or speed were contributing factors, but weather and road conditions have not been ruled out.

Kirk began his policing career with the Vancouver Police Department in 1981, moving 10 years later to the Abbotsford Police Department.

RELATED: Driver killed as two pickup trucks collide on Cedar Road

RELATED: New public face for organized crime unit

He was serving as a motorcycle cop and was filling in as a back-up media officer before being asked to take over the position full-time in 2000.

Kirk’s affable and calm manner soon earned him praise and respect from the media and the public alike.

He later became the media spokesperson for the RCMP Integrated Gang Task Force and then the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).

In 2012, he announced his retirement after more than 30 years of policing.

He continued to live in Abbotsford with his wife Wendy, with whom he had two daughters.

Tributes to Kirk have been pouring in on social media, including from Premier John Horgan.

“He was a warm and caring man, dedicated to fighting gang violence, and a much admired leader in the South Asian community,” he said on Twitter.

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr wrote that the department had “lost a brother” and described Kirk as “a true gentleman who will be missed.”

Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, the current CFSEU spokesperson, also posted on Twitter.

“Shinder Kirk was professional, dedicated and passionate about making our communities safe from gang violence … We will miss him,” she said.

A tweet from the Surrey RCMP described Kirk as “a truly kind and dedicated police officer and amazing person,” while the CFSEU’s gang intervention team described him as “leader in gang prevention and intervention.”

– with files from the Nanaimo News Bulletin

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cash and drugs allegedly found in a suspect’s possession following an arrest earlier this month in downtown Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
Accused drug dealer arrested in downtown Nanaimo carrying $20,000, fentanyl, crack and meth

Terrance Virus, 39, being held in custody, scheduled to appear in court Feb. 1

Letter writers weigh in on Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw that will control roaming cats. (Stock photo)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Bylaw will lead to cat abandonment

Letter writer foresees SPCA and pound will be overrun with cats that can’t be trained to a leash

Rick Morgan, Nanaimo Search and Rescue building director, and Carly Trobridge, president and search manager, turn sod to kick off the start of renovations to NSAR’s headquarters Tuesday, Jan. 26. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Search and Rescue getting started on $2.6-million makeover at Harewood headquarters

Renovation project will increase space for vehicles and improve training and management operations

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Downed hydro line sparks brush fire in Yellow Point

North Oyster firefighters and B.C. Hydro on scene along Yellow Point Road

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Extensive water on No. 4 and 5 at the Mount Brenton Golf Course following heavy rains earlier this month. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island golf course does a booming business in 2020

A total of 15,000 more rounds played than the previous year at Mount Brenton

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

A tip from the public helped Victoria police located and arrest wanted men Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Tips lead police to arrest convicted killer, robber near downtown Victoria

Two men were at large after failing to return to community facility

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

Most Read