Fallen officers commemorated at tomorrow’s Remembrance Day
Fallen officers commemorated at tomorrow’s Police Remembrance Day
The annual Police Remembrance Day service will have a new look this year with the inclusion of the names of 38 employees who have died as a result of their duties since the New Zealand Police was established 1886.
Police have for a long time formally recognised the 29 officers killed on duty since 1886 as a result of a criminal act.
Their names appear on a memorial wall at the Royal New Zealand Police College and they are commemorated at Police Remembrance Day services on 29 September each year.
“It’s been our wish for some time to also formally remember other employees who died as a direct result of their Police duties,” says Commissioner Mike Bush.
“We needed to find a way to honour those who lost their lives in crashes, accidents, explosions, by drowning or from illnesses contracted while carrying out their Police duties.
Their contribution is part of our history and they need to be formally recognised.”
In 2013 Police established the Recognition Project to set some criteria and correctly identify eligible employees.
Research to date has established that 38 employees have so far met the criteria, which are that the person must have been a Police employee and have died as a direct result of injuries sustained or illness or disease contracted in the course of their Police duties.
“Police has employed many thousands of people in our 129-year history.
Identifying those who died as a result of their duties was a big task and despite our best efforts there may be people who have been inadvertently missed or whose families believe should be included but aren’t on the current list.
“The Remembrance Day recognition is the first step in a continuing process.
We’re very willing to consider further information that becomes available and include anyone who meets the criteria,” Mr Bush says.
The first person to die as a result of duty was Senior Constable Henry Porter, who was aged 41 when he accidentally drowned while doing his night rounds in Port Chalmers on 21 June 1887.
Other deaths include the crew of the Eagle helicopter, who were killed when it collided with a fixed wing aircraft over Auckland on 26 November 1993, and a member of the Christchurch Child Protection Unit who died when the CTV building collapsed in the 2011 Canterbury earthquake.
Remembrance Day services honour Police colleagues in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific who have been killed on duty or died in service in the preceding year.
Former staff members who have died in the past 12 months are also remembered.