Police officers pay tribute to slain colleagues

SALLY KIDSON
Last updated 13:00 02/10/2012
Police Remembrance Day
MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ

SALUTE: Inspector Steve Greally salutes as Senior Constable Evan Garland adjusts the flag to half mast during the Police Remembrance Day held in front of the Nelson Police Station.

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Police officers who died in the line of duty were remembered at the Nelson police station yesterday.

Nelson Bays area commander Inspector Steve Greally said Police Remembrance Day was about paying respect to those police officers who died and to their families.

It was also about acknowledging the inherent dangers of police work. It was the police equivalent of a mini Anzac Day, he said. "It's a hell of a sacrifice our people have made . . . it shows just how dangerous the job can be, in that you leave for work in the morning with all intention of coming back to your family, and sometimes that doesn't happen."

Retired Nelson police officers also attended yesterday's short service.

"It's very very good to have them here. They are an important part of this. They've been here and done that, although times have changed. I think it's more dangerous these days."

The service also paid tribute to police dogs killed while working.

During yesterday's service the New Zealand police flag was lowered to half mast while a minute's silence was observed. Earlier Nelson's newest recruit, Constable Micaela Rolton, and Senior Sergeant John Price read the names of officers killed while serving.

Police staff and others this week are wearing a distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin to remember those who lost their lives protecting society.

Officers killed in the line of duty were also remembered at the annual Australasian and South Pacific Police Remembrance Day Service at The Royal New Zealand Police College yesterday.

No police officers were slain in the line of duty last year. A total of 81 serving and former staff members were remembered at yesterday's service.

The Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, Police Minister Anne Tolley, Commissioner Peter Marshall, and Deputy Commissioners Viv Rickard and Mike Bush attended the national service, along with representatives of high commissions and embassies from Europe and the South Pacific.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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