Shire Matters with Mark Speakman: We will not forget them - National Police Remembrance Day
Each year on 29 September, our nation commemorates police officers who've lost their lives in the course of duty.
This day - National Police Remembrance Day - is an occasion to remember those men and women and to honour their service and sacrifice.
It's a day to stand in solidarity with the families and loved ones of fallen officers, as we acknowledge the immense suffering their loss has brought. It's a day for all of us to reflect on the resilience, courage and dedication with which police officers serve our communities each and every day.
Australia boasts an enviable quality of life. At least in part, that's because ours is one of the
safest countries in the world. We enjoy peace and stability.
Violent crime is relatively low. And our laws are enforced by modern, well-trained and accountable police forces.
In NSW alone there's a force of more than 18,000 officers serving 8 million people.
These 18,000 officers take a considerable risk every day they're on the job. Policing is
complex and sometimes extremely dangerous work.
Apart from the threats that exist to officers' physical safety, there's also the psychological stress that comes from responding to threatening or traumatic situations. Unsurprisingly, police face a significantly heightened risk of depression and anxiety compared with the general population.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline workers have risked their own health on a daily basis to ensure the safety and care of the broader community.
By contrast, the disgraceful actions of "protestors" in past weeks, which threaten to undermine the entire community's efforts to suppress the virus, deserve our collective condemnation.
These violent scenes are a timely reminder of the gratitude we owe to our police men and women.
On National Police Remembrance Day, we acknowledge the professionalism, skill and bravery of every police officer and thank them for keeping us safe - and we pay tribute to the memory of those who've made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community.
We will not forget them.