On National Police Remembrance Day, one of the most significant days on the policing calendar, we pause to pay respect to those officers who have served and lost their lives in the course of duty. As a former officer, I know only too well the significance of this day. I know only too well the importance of remembering those who have fallen before us. I know only too well the sacrifice these men and women have made to serve their communities. And I understand the pain of those left behind.
On Tuesday, September 29, I was humbled by the crowd that gathered at the NSW Police Force Wall of Remembrance. Not just men and women standing proud in the blue uniform, but loved ones and members of the public joining the masses to pay their respects.
Since the NSW Police Force was formed more than 150 years ago, 252 officers have lost their lives while serving the people of NSW. That’s 252 families who have had to say goodbye to someone they love who fought to protect complete strangers.
This past week I was also proud to be part of the unveiling of a permanent memorial at the Sydney Police Centre to honour all police employees, sworn and non-sworn who have died while in service, or who have not been able to continue as an employee due to an injury or illness and have later passed away as a result of that injury or illness.
Known as the NSW Police Force Service Memorial, this monument is an important tribute to those who have fallen.
This is a poignant time to reflect on the sacrifices made by members of our police force and their families, some of whom have battled the trauma of witnessing horrific events long after their duties were over.
There is no understanding of the risks and challenges our officers face every day, but we can support them.
To those who now live without a loved one, please accept my deepest respect and condolence for your loss.
To those who serve or have served, please accept my gratitude for what you do.
To those in need, we are here for you.
Let us fondly remember those who have passed and those who continue to sacrifice so much.