National Police Remembrance Day will today pay tribute to police who lost their lives in the line of duty, including four Victorian officers who will be immortalised at the National Police Memorial in Canberra.
Two services will be held to honour the fallen, including Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney, who were killed on duty at a vehicle stop on Melbourne's Eastern Freeway on April 22 this year. It was the biggest loss of life in a single event for Victoria Police.
They will be memorialised on the National Police Memorial Wall, which will now enshrine 798 names of fallen police who made the ultimate sacrifice for the communities they served.
Touchstone plaques honouring the four Victorian officers will be escorted in a motorcade from the Australian Federal Police College in Barton to the National Police Memorial in Kings Park.
Each touchstone, which includes the rank, date of death and place of death of the fallen, will be driven separately in a Highway Patrol car, reflecting the officers' roles and service as part of Victoria Police Highway Patrol. The touchstones will be mounted on to a large, stone, paved shrine. The AFP is the custodian of the wall.
The commemorations will continue with the National Police Remembrance Day Dusk Service, to be held at the National Police Memorial at 4.30pm.
Police commissioners and representatives from most policing jurisdictions will be unable to pay their respects in person this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. The commissioners have instead sent virtual messages, available here, to be screened at today's ceremony.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw APM said National Police Remembrance Day was a time to pay tribute to police who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"Today we remember those whose lives were cut tragically short because they were serving their community,'' Mr Kershaw said.
"There are 798 names on the National Police Memorial Wall, 798 too many. There are too many families who no longer have a father, mother, husband or wife.
"To those families who have lost loved ones, we grieve with you. We also reflect on their commitment to duty and striving every day to keep the public safe.
"In particular, we stand with the families and loved ones of the four Victoria Police officers who were tragically taken from us earlier this year. While we can never take away the weight of your loss, across Australia, the entire policing family, is here to support you."
Members of the public are encouraged to virtually attend this year's service via livestream.
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