WA Police Officers have been awarded the distinguished Police Star at the inaugural ceremony at the Joondalup Police Academy.
The Police Star award was presented to 78 recipients, in recognition of officers killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.
Police Minister, Michelle Roberts, said this ceremony was important in recognising the difficult, dangerous and sometimes unpredictable job police officers do, and the impact that has on families.
“Those who have received the Police star today have put their lives on the line. Some of them have permanent injuries that have affected their life from that moment on. There are other family members here whos life changed forever when the police officer – their husband, or their dad, or their mum, passed away in a tragic accident.
“It’s appropriate to recognise their service above self, we’ve had police officers that have literally given their life in the line of duty,” she said.
The award was introduced after much work by the WA Police Corporate Board, Medically Retired Officers Association, WA Police Union and Police.
Police Commissioner, Karl O’Callaghan, offered his apologies for not acknlowddging the contribution these officers have made to the community of Western Australia, and today was an opportunity to recognised everybody that has been injured or sadly, killed.
“This a very significant day for WA Police, it’s the first time we’ve publicly recognised officers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty,”
“I apologize to those officers there this morning that it has taken us, as a police force, so long to get to this stage of recognition,” he said.
Wayne Matthews, Vice President of the Medically Retired Officers Association, tips his hat to the Government for finally recognising the importance of this issue.
“For myself and the fellow colleagues that were medically retired, this is a big moment. It’s actually recognition from the Police Department and also the State Government for the permanent disabilities that the officers have been forced to retire with. Previously, we just haven’t received even just a simple thank you from the community for making the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.