Remembering the fallen: ‘In the sadness there is a lot of community support’

Bega has acknowledged twelve Australian police officers killed in the line of duty. 

National Police Remembrance Day was recognised on Friday with a service at St John's Anglican Church in Bega.

“It is a very special day, our most revered day, you could say,” Detective Superintendent Peter O'Brien, commander of the Far South Coast Local Area Command said.

Superintendent O’Brien worked in Sydney for most of his career, and has experienced the pain of the death of colleagues over the years.

“It is very sad, very melancholy,” he said.

“In the sadness there is a lot of community support, because the community also mourns the death of a police officer.”

He said the day of remembrance is also an opportunity for police officers to “mix with the community”.

“I love regional policing, because the connection police officers have with the community is much greater,” Superintendent O’Brien said.

The day also recognises police officers from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

National Police Remembrance Day was recognised on Friday with a service at St John's Anglican Church in Bega.

National Police Remembrance Day was recognised on Friday with a service at St John's Anglican Church in Bega.

The names of the 12 officer killed were added to the National Wall of Remembrance in Canberra, including an engraved touchstone to commemorate Senior Constable Brett Forte, who was killed after a gunman fired on him and his partner in Queensland in May this year.

The remaining 11 names came from historical research into officers killed in the line of duty between the late 1800s and the 1950s.

The event remembered the 269 NSW Police Force members have lost their lives in the line of duty, and also through injury or illness since its formation in 1862.

“The police family are a close-knit group who support each other and their families in a way which makes me very proud,” NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

A police memorial motorbike ride from Sydney to Canberra raised money for NSW Police Legacy, which provides care and support to more than 20,000 serving and retired police officers and their families.