Police, Queenslanders pause to remember fallen officers
POLICE Minister Jo-Ann Miller and Police Commissioner Ian Stewart have today paused to commemorate the 140 Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Minister Miller said National Police Remembrance Day was a time for Queenslanders to reflect on the difficult and dangerous job officers do to keep the community safe right across the state.
"Over the 151 year history of the Queensland Police Service, 140 serving officers have died protecting others," Minister Miller said.
"National Police Remembrance Day is an opportunity for all Queenslanders to reflect on that sacrifice and to show our police how deeply we appreciate everything they do each and every day to keep us safe.
"The memory of our fallen officers is honoured by communities throughout the state and like all Queenslanders, my thoughts today are with the families of those who are no longer with us. With honour they served.
"Fortunately, despite the many dangers our police face daily on our behalf, no officers have died on duty in the past year. I am very grateful for that and I sincerely hope that remains the case next year."
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart acknowledged the tireless work of all QPS members and highlighted the inherent risks faced by police officers every day as they provide for the safety and security of Queenslanders.
"Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, as we honour their memories on National Police Remembrance Day," Commissioner Stewart said.
"The QPS operates 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year; and we have at least 15,000 interactions with the public every day, with each police officer swearing an oath to protect and serve the community.
"There are times however, when no matter how dedicated, committed and courageous our officers are, they face unbeatable odds.
"Police Remembrance Day not only allows us to pay tribute to such officers but it presents an opportunity to recognise the bravery and dedication of past and present officers."
This year marks the anniversary of the deaths of the following police officers, whom we honour and remember:
- 130 years since the death of Constable John Stewart who died from injuries sustained after being kicked by a horse on October 5, 1885;
- 120 years since Constable Thomas Black drowned while moving horses across the Warrego River at Charleville on January 24, 1895;
- 120 years since Constable William Clarke died after accidently discharging his own weapon at Hughenden on October 12, 1895;
- 110 years since Constable Robert Orme died after a riding accident at Southport on December 24, 1905;
- 100 years since Constable William Harris died at Rockhampton after a riding accident near Gracemere on August 24, 1915;
- 40 years since Sergeant 2/c Richard Harris was killed in a traffic incident near Eulo on March 26, 1975;
- 10 years since Senior Constable Sally Urquhart was killed in a plane crash at Lockhart River while on route to Townsville on May 7, 2005;
- 10 years since Senior Constable Christopher Barwise was killed in a motorcycle incident south of Sarina on July 19, 2005.
This year also marks 100 years since the deaths of eight officers who died on active service during the First World War, we remember:
- Constable Patrick Moynihan
- Constable David Bourke
- Constable William Hughes
- Constable John Johnston
- Constable Robert Ritchie
- Constable Phillip Vowles
- Constable Eugene Nugent and
- Constable John Christiansen
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.
With Honour They Served.