Most police have been touched by a colleague having been killed or seriously injured while on duty, the commander of police in the Riverina, Superintendent Bob Noble, said at a small gathering at Cootamundra Police Station this morning.
Supt Noble travelled from Wagga to speak at the ceremony, at which he unveiled a small commemorative plaque in front of the station, inscribed simply "Remembrance Day".
The plaque was donated by Cootamundra police as part of a beautification of the station and surrounds, and to mark Police Remembrance Day which is a national day generally held on September 29, but postponed until now for the same reason many civic events have been changed.
Supt Noble said to police present "there are police here that have themselves been seriously injured while on duty - and I hate to say it, if you haven't, you probably will at some stage.
"I don't say that frivolously, it's a sobering reminder of police work. The danger is ever present. We do what we can to prevent injuries and death, and those obligations around safety and looking after one another are very onerous.
"But they are onerous for a very good reason because its vitally important. It is a reminder that you never know what you're going to encounter when you come to work."
Supt Noble said there were "any number of reasons" why it had been difficult to achieve marking Remembrance Day on September 29 this year.
"Obviously it's been an extremely challenging year for society more broadly, because of the issue with a pandemic, and for law enforcement and also broadly socially and economically issues around border closure and economic problems has made any number of reasons why these things have been hard to achieve.
"So I think it's great, that you've gone to the effort to put together today, for the procurement of the plaque and indicative of a great deal of pride being shown by Cootamundra police in this station.
"In the way you comport and carry yourselves, your general conduct, I think is exemplary and you are great representatives of the NSW Police Force and the commissioner in this part of the world.
"I congratulate you all on the beautification program with the station and initiatives such as this."
The MC at the ceremony, Det Sgt Phil Malligan, protocol officer for the Riverina Police District, welcomed guests to the service.
A/Sgt Paul Kemp, from the traffic and highway patrol command, presented the traditional welcome to country, including among those he welcomed deputy mayor Dennis Palmer, CGRC general manager Phil McMurray, fellow police officers and those retired, families of both serving and retired officers.
"We gather today to remember those officers of the Australasian police agencies who have lost their lives in the course of their duties.
"We are here to thank God for the lives, to mourn them and to honour them.
"Here we offer our support to each other in grief, especially to the families and friends of those killed.
"Let us pray also for our society that peace and justice may increase and that all people being able to live with integrity, dignity and mutual respect."
Former senior constable Joe Camilleri presented the welcoming prayer.