This week, Oamaru Police and staff have joined colleagues throughout New Zealand to honour fellow officers who have lost their lives in service to the society they swore to protect, by wearing the huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance pin.
Police Remembrance Day will fall this Sunday, September 29, the feast day of the Archangel Michael, patron saint of police and the day is being observed with a service at the Royal New Zealand Police College today and in services around New Zealand.
Oamaru community constable Bruce Dow said every officer was acutely aware of the dangers and unpredictability of police work.
“None of us want our names on a plaque at the Royal New Zealand Police College,” he said.
“We all have families and like to go home to our loved ones at the end of each shift.”
New Zealand Police Association president Greg O’Connor said Police Remembrance Day was an occasion for everyone to reflect on the sacrifices police officers made to willingly confront dangerous situations every day, in service of the public they protected and to pay tribute to those who had lost their lives doing so.
“Every police officer knows they work in a unique and inherently risky profession,” he said.
“While members of the public are running away from danger, police officers must run towards it.
“But increasingly, police are also faced with life-threatening situations, even in the course of ‘routine’ tasks and tragically, we have seen several officers killed in the course of routine duties in recent years and many more near misses.”
The Police Remembrance Pin, designed by the Police Association and introduced in 2007 in partnership with police, has been embraced as a way for people to show their remembrance.
According to Mr O’Connor, a growing number of police and others were now wearing the Police Remembrance Pin on Remembrance Day and in the days leading up to it as a sign of respect for those who have lost their lives.
“It is humbling for police to see the widespread support shown not only by their colleagues, but also by ordinary New Zealanders, through this public acknowledgement of the sacrifices fallen police officers have made for their safety,” he said.