South West police honour fallen officers

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
South West Supt Geoff Stewart pays his respects during Bunbury's Police Remembrance Day ceremony.
Camera IconSouth West Supt Geoff Stewart pays his respects during Bunbury's Police Remembrance Day ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

South West police alongside family and friends of officers who have died in the line of duty paid their respects in a moving remembrance day ceremony on Friday.

As National Police Remembrance Day ceremonies were held across the country, more than 100 people gathered at Bunbury Police Station to pay their respects.

The Bunbury community pays its respect during National Police Remembrance Day at Bunbury Police Station.
Camera IconThe Bunbury community pays its respect during National Police Remembrance Day at Bunbury Police Station. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

South West Supt Geoff Stewart said the ceremony was “hugely important” for both police and their families.

“We have got the best job in the world, but unfortunately with that comes some very tragic risk,” Supt Stewart said.

“The South West district isn’t immune to losing police officers.

The Bunbury community pays its respect during National Police Remembrance Day at Bunbury Police Station.
Camera IconThe Bunbury community pays its respect during National Police Remembrance Day at Bunbury Police Station. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

“When we lose someone, those family members are still part of the police family and it (remembrance day) is so important, not only to them but to us as well.

“I’m sure that the families that were at the ceremony today would have loved nothing more than seeing their brother, their son, standing with the rest of us out there today.

Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School students perform the Welcome to Country at Bunbury’s Police Remembrance Day ceremony.
Camera IconDjidi Djidi Aboriginal School students perform the Welcome to Country at Bunbury’s Police Remembrance Day ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

“And I can only imagine the pain that continues with that, but we’re a family and we’ll be there to support them forever.”

The national day of recognition is held on, or near, September 29 every year.

The names of all 97 State and Australian Federal police officers who have died in the line of duty since 1834 are read out during each ceremony.

The Pearson family – who lost their son Sen. Const. Jamie Pearson in 2004 – lay flowers during Bunbury’s Police Remembrance Day ceremony.
Camera IconThe Pearson family – who lost their son Sen. Const. Jamie Pearson in 2004 – lay flowers during Bunbury’s Police Remembrance Day ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Supt Stewart said police and emergency service workers risked their lives every day and it was important to acknowledge it.

“It’s a dynamic job, we work in a dynamic environment, but it’s not just police, it’s the emergency services and everyone that’s on the front line looking after their community put their lives at risk everyday,” he said.

“It’s a really hard job sometimes, but it’s the best job.

“It means a hell of a lot to WA Police and we do these ceremonies because we want to, but it’s so critical and so important for the families to come along as well so they see that we’re still there for them, and we are.”

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan pays his respects during Bunbury's Police Remembrance Day ceremony.
Camera IconBunbury Mayor Gary Brennan pays his respects during Bunbury's Police Remembrance Day ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Police Minister Michelle Roberts said officers put their lives on the line every time they stepped outside the door.

“Sometimes that comes at a terrible cost to them, and to their families,” Ms Roberts said.

“On Police Remembrance Day we take a moment to reflect upon that cost and upon those who have met it with their lives.

South West police pay their respects during Bunbury's Police Remembrance Day ceremony.
Camera IconSouth West police pay their respects during Bunbury's Police Remembrance Day ceremony. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

“Police do a job that is difficult and dangerous. Remembrance Day is an opportunity to honour those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice.”

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