Minister for Police, The Honourable Mark Ryan MP, today joined Commissioner Katarina Carroll to pause and pay tribute to the 147 fallen Queensland Police Service officers in honour of National Police Remembrance Day.
With 2019 being the 30-year anniversary of National Police Remembrance Day commemorations across Australia and the South West Pacific Region, the occasion was marked with poignant marches and services across the state.
Commissioner Carroll said this year was the first time a National Police Remembrance Day Service was held at the newly dedicated Queensland Police Memorial, following a march from Queens Garden past the previous police memorial site; a watershed moment.
“The importance of us as a Service coming together to recognise the greatest sacrifice that can be made by our colleagues cannot be overlooked,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“We must never forget those who have been lost to us and similarly, we must never forget their families, their partners, their friends and their colleagues, who have also sacrificed and lost so much.
As she paused to remember those who have fallen, Commissioner Carroll also acknowledged the inherent risk faced by police officers every day as they come to work facing uncertainty for what the coming shift may bring.
“We as a Service have more than 15,000 interactions with the public every day, some through the regular course of our duties and some through dangerous and emergent situations,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“National Police Remembrance Day not only honours those who have lost their lives in the line of duty but also recognises the commitment, dedication and bravery of all past, present and future police officers.”
Minister Ryan said services, marches and vigils had been held across the state for the community and police to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“This is our time to remember those 147 Queensland Police officers who gave their life serving the state, as well as all police officers from across Australia and the South West Pacific, who also sacrificed.
“We also remember our colleagues who are no longer with us; those men and women who faithfully served the QPS and are now truly missed.
“I have comfort in knowing their memories will live on in the hearts and minds of their loved ones.”
“National Police Remembrance Day commemorations are a testament to the value placed upon police officers in Queensland.
“And I want to pay tribute to the Queensland Police Union of Employees and President Ian Leavers.
“It was the Union’s initiative to create a Queensland Police Memorial and Ian’s unwavering commitment to this cause is why this important landmark stands today.”
This year marks the anniversary of the deaths of the following police officers, whom we honour and remember.
- 135 years since Constable Nathaniel Roberts of Windorah Police Station died after becoming lost in the bush without water near Connemarra Station, close to Windorah.
- 135 years since Constable James McMullen from Maytown Police Station drowned while accompanying a prisoner to bathe in the Pioneer River near Maytown.
- 130 years since Constable Aldred Wavell of Corinda Police Station (Gulf of Carpentaria) was killed after tracking an offender to Lawn Hill where a gun fight ensued, and he courageously walked towards the line of fire calling for surrender.
- 125 years since Constable Edward Lanigan of Montalbion Police Station died in the execution of his duties while attempting to apprehend an offender in Montalbion, a settlement in north Queensland.
- 125 years since Constable Benjamin Ebbit of Croydon Police Station died as a result of injuries sustained on 9 November 1890 where he was seriously assaulted attempting to arrest an offender. He never returned to active police duty following the offence.
- 110 years since Sub Inspector 2/c Michael Broderick of Charleville Police Station died as a result of injuries sustained when he fell from his horse in Charleville.
- 50 years since Senior Constable Colin Brown of Dayboro Police Station was killed in the line of duty when responding to an armed offender at a local dairy farm.
- 50 years since Constable Noel Steele of Booval Police Station was killed in a car crash while in pursuit of a speeding vehicle in Booval.
- 50 years since Constable Alan Cambage of Brisbane Traffic Branch died as a result of injuries received in a motorcycle crash at Salisbury.
- 40 years since Technical Officer Grade 1 James Patrick Browning of Brisbane Radio Maintenance Division was killed when his private motorcycle and two other cars collided in Bardon as he travelled home.
- 30 years since Plain Clothes Constable Brett Handran of the Juvenile Aid Bureau was killed in the line of duty as he responded to a domestic disturbance in Wynnum West.
Blue ribbons are available from any police station for a small donation and the proceeds will go towards charities, Queensland Police Legacy and Community Supporting Police.
More National Police Remembrance Day information is available here: https://www.police.qld.gov.au/index.php/police-memorial.