POLICE officers will pay their respects to fallen colleagues next week when they mark National Police Remembrance Day.
The annual event to be held on September 29 at Warrnambool’s Uniting Church also offers an opportunity for the wider community to honour those who commit to protect and serve.
Warrnambool Crime Scene Unit’s Leading Senior Constable and event organiser Mick Little hopes the service underlines the dangers police members face on a daily basis.
“Most police officers have been assaulted, sometimes seriously and sometimes with lifetime injuries, or had themselves or their families threatened throughout their career,” he said.
According to police records, 159 Victoria Police members have been killed in the line of duty, 30 of which have been murdered including two in Warrnambool over the past 153 years.
“It is a usual occurrence for police members to risk their personal safety trying to protect or save members of the public or save someone who is trying to physically hurt us,” LSC Little said.
“It is what police do. We have sworn an oath to protect and serve the community and we go about our work without fuss or fanfare. It is important that we come together and remember those men and women who did not get to go home to their families.”
This year’s event will involve Warrnambool’s CFA, SES and Ambulance personnel.
“Police are not the only community service (people) that face life-threatening risks in their role,” LSC Little said.
“Other emergency services take the same risks in their role of serving the community and they need to be recognised.”
The Police Remembrance Day ceremony will begin at 11am. Emergency services personnel and police officers will march from the entry hall to the main room of the church carrying flags in a symbolic guard of honour.
“Flags will be left behind to symbolise those who are left behind and don’t go home,” LSC Little said.