Monday, 30 August 2021
National Police Remembrance Day
It is my pleasure to rise to support the motion moved by the member for Fowler and seconded by the member for Cowper to appropriately recognise again National Police Remembrance Day. This day acknowledges the crucial role that police officers play across Australia. More importantly, at the end of September each year, police throughout Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Solomon Islands pause to honour officers whose lives have been cut short while performing their duties or as a result of their duties. This year we also acknowledge Senior Constable David Masters of the Queensland Police Service, who was killed while trying to intercept a stolen vehicle. I add my condolences to his family, friends and the Queensland police community. I also add my condolences to those whose names were read out by the member for Cowper, who spoke just before me. This important day is also a time to remember police officers who have lost their lives through illness or other circumstances. Whether it's in our local communities, social events, natural disasters or global pandemics, the police force is there to serve our community, and it does a wonderful job of that.
National Police Remembrance Day is one of the most significant days in the police calendar, and as a nation we pause to remember those police officers who have lost their lives fulfilling their duty to protect their community, and to honour the courage and commitment of all police members. I want to also acknowledge Police Legacy, who provide financial and emotional support to the loved ones left behind. They ensure that families have someone to help them. Police Legacy provides some financial support so that children can still receive education and know that they are part of the bigger police community.
The trust that a community places in its police force should never be underestimated. The risks faced by officers every day, in a variety of roles and responsibilities they take on, are recognised by all our community. Police officers are sought to act when people are facing some of the most distressing times in their lives. Situations such as these require calm and a clear and focused voice. That's what police officers provide, along with the confidence and leadership that is required to provide support and care when our community and people really need them. Many officers have had to face circumstances such as these on several occasions and conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism. I note particularly in the last few weeks with the protests that have been happening that some of our offices have been hurt in these protests. They are doing their job and they should not be the reason for an attack.
This trust that the community has in the police force is tested daily. Although the events of the last 18 months have amplified this trust, from catastrophic bushfires to the current crisis of coronavirus, police officers across the country have repeatedly put themselves at increased risk. The police force already face a high degree of risk. There are many dangers that come with the roles and responsibilities of an officer—dangers that our police officers have to face day to day—and experiences that many people will never have to face, or even know are happening.
Fulfilling the responsibilities of police work, while also managing the new risks Australians face every day with coronavirus, deserves all the merit it earns and so much more. The logistics support delivered by the New South Wales Police Force during this pandemic, not only in command, but officers on the ground, was essential to ensure the safety of the community. Throughout the changing landscape over the last 20 months, officers did not get complacent with the increased risk. They continue to keep our community safe.
I would particularly like to acknowledge and thank Liverpool City Police Area Command police officers and Superintendent Adam Whyte. I know the Liverpool command has provided support and policing in the whole of New South Wales on border patrols, during recent protests, and by going door to door to ensure that members of our community are supported during lockdown. This is all on top of the normal work they need to do every day to keep our communities safe. I acknowledge and appreciate the work of Superintendent Whyte and his colleagues for their assistance and dedication to our community. Policing in a pandemic is not an easy job, and I thank the men and women of the police force in my community and around Australia every day for the job they do. I honour the nation's police officers' commitment, courage and dedication, ensuring the peace and safety of our community, and again acknowledge those who have made the supreme sacrifice doing their job to keep our communities safe.