THE unselfish devotion of police officers was often taken for granted as they regularly faced hidden and unexpected dangers that could result in traumatising incidents, NSW Governor Marie Bashir said yesterday.
Only hours after two officers were forced to jump for their lives and out of the path of a car during a deadly domestic dispute at Blackalls Park, Ms Bashir paid tribute to police across the state on the annual police remembrance day.
‘‘It is critical, I believe, that we’re sensitive to the immense psychological trauma that can affect healthy, fine, resilient and quietly confident members of this great service,’’ she said.
At Newcastle’s Christ Church Cathedral, relatives of fallen officers joined serving police at a moving service to remember the 251 police lost in the force’s 150 years of policing. A guard of honour followed the service.
In Sydney, a riderless police horse symbolised fallen officers as hundreds of police paid tribute at the NSW Police Force Wall of Remembrance.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said that ‘‘when an officer is killed, something dies within all of us’’.
Mr Scipione paid special tribute to the latest, Senior Constable David Rixon, a former Hunter officer and father of six who was fatally shot during a routine traffic stop in Tamworth in March.
At the service 12-year-old Elayna Day received the $5000 Commissioner’s Scholarship for children of deceased officers.
Support shapes charity carreer
By SAM RIGNEY
ASHLEIGH Monk was only 11 when her father Ron, a member of the NSW Police Dog Unit, died after more than 27 years of service.
Since then, Ms Monk, now 19 and living in Blue Haven, has become heavily involved with NSW Police Legacy, a charity organisation supporting widows, widowers and children of fallen police officers.
She was one of thousands who paused to remember their loved ones during NSW Police Remembrance Day yesterday, which coincided with the 25th anniversary of NSW Police Legacy Day.
Her father’s career choice and the emotional and financial assistance provided by Legacy has influenced her to pursue a career in the force herself, with the aim of emulating her father in the NSW Police Dog Unit.
‘‘It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid,’’ Ms Monk said.
‘‘Some kids wanted to be an astronaut or a pilot, but I always wanted to be a police officer.
‘‘Becoming a police officer is a good way to remember him and I think he would be proud of me.’’
After completing her studies and training at the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn, Ms Monk plans to follow the path of her father from general duties cop to a spot in the dog squad.
But she stressed that none of her plans would be within reach without the assistance she received from Legacy and the ‘‘family bond’’ formed with them.
To donate, go to the website policelegacynsw.org.au.