Day to remember lives lost while serving to protect local community
The Queensland Police Service, loved ones and members of the community gathered today to remember officers who have lost their lives while making the ultimate sacrifice for others.
As part of National Police Remembrance Day, a service was held at Bundaberg Police Station to pay respect to the commitment police make each day and to honour the officers who have been killed in the line of duty or died off duty.
Bundaberg Patrol Group Inspector Anne Vogler said it was an important day of reflection to remember the lives lost and thank all officers for taking a considerable risk each day to make Queensland safe.
“On behalf of the Queensland Police Service I would like to acknowledge the friends, family and colleagues who are joining us today,” she said.
“The honourable commitment they (officers) make everyday deserves to be recognised hence the importance of this day for us as a service.
“Together we pause, we reflect and we honour those who have served for us or alongside us and who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Ten years ago Sergeant Dan Stiller was killed while he was escorting a wide load on the Bruce Highway near Mount Larcom.
When a truck braked too late, causing it to jackknife and strike the officer and his motorbike, he was killed instantly.
Sgt Stiller and his wife, a Brisbane Detective, had just announced they were expecting their first child together.
His colleagues described him as an “excellent officer” investigated the death of their friend, as the highway remained closed for five hours.
“When you work with people that have passed, whether it be on the job or away from the job, it certainly is a day of reflection for myself,” Inspector Vogler said.
“I had the pleasure of working with Dan – I knew Dan as a very young Constable and mind you, I was pretty young then too.
“That was just a job that he turned up to everyday and he was very comfortable on a motorbike … it was a tragedy.”
The service, which is usually held at a church, was slightly different this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Along with Bundaberg police officers Member for Bundaberg David Batt, who once served as an officer himself, attended the service as well as a number of retired police officers, including Stewart Harrison and John Francis.
“You tend not to think about it (putting your life at risk everyday) while on the job,” Mr Harrison said.
“I’d like to thank the Queensland Police Service for allowing us to come along and pay our respects today.”
Mr Francis said it was days like today that filled him with a lot of pride.
“You do help a lot of people as a police officer,” he said.
“They don’t think so when you’re arresting them, but even just helping all the people who come to the station with questions or concerns … it’s a really great job.”
Four officers across Australian jurisdictions have been killed in the line of duty in the last 12 months, as well as six other Australasian communities including New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.