Officers who paid the ultimate price

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long and Pilbara District Acting Superintendent Craig Parkin.
Camera IconCity of Karratha Mayor Peter Long and Pilbara District Acting Superintendent Craig Parkin.

Pilbara police and the local community gathered together last Tuesday to remember and honour fallen members of the “blue family”.

Held on or around September 29 each year since 1989, Police Remembrance Day is an opportunity to reflect and pay respect to police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The national day of recognition involves ceremonies across the Australasia and the South West Pacific region including in the Pilbara, where Karratha police gathered to recite poems and read aloud the names of the seven fallen officers from the Pilbara District.

This included the names of the four officers who were killed in a police aircraft near Newman on January 26, 2001.

Key dignitaries were then invited to lay wreathes to commemorate the fallen.

The ceremony concluded with the touching of the rock, where guests placed a hand on the memorial rock outside Karratha Police Station — a Pilbara tradition that commenced in 2015 at a ceremony in Newman.

Karratha police Sergeant Todd Carrington said the day was an important one for officers.

“It means a lot because most of us have been in this job for quite some time and know someone who has lost their life while on duty. It means a lot to police officers around Australia,” he said.

“What we hope what people take away from this day is that they recognise the sacrifices that police officers make to the community and unfortunately that sometimes leads to the loss of their lives in the service of their community.”

Services were also held at Hedland and at Onslow Cemetery, with relatives travelling from Roebourne, Karratha and Tom Price to pay their respects to an officer who served in Onslow and was laid to rest there.

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