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This year’s Police Remembrance Day service was particularly poignant.
Dozens of officers, whanau and members of the community gathered at Dunedin’s First Church yesterday to remember fallen police staff.
It came just days after police officer Matt Ratana, an expat New Zealander who studied at the University of Otago, was shot and killed by a suspect in custody in London.
It also came just months after 28-year-old Constable Matthew Hunt was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Massey, Auckland.
Inspector Fiona Roberts said Remembrance Day was a reminder of the dangers police faced every day while doing their jobs.
"I have no doubt that the stories associated with the lives of our former police colleagues will continue to inspire current serving police officers, in the way that we carry out our duties to make a real difference to our communities," she said.
Closer to home, this year Southern District police also farewelled serving employees Carolyn Mary Duncan and Senior Constable Lesley Ann Eason.
Retired Detective Inspector Chris Kelley described the pair as "exceptional".
"Both had made huge contributions to policing in the Southern community over many years," he said.
Several former police staff also died during the past year.
They were police chaplain Fr Dan Cummings, Sergeant Wayne Olsen, Sergeant Euan James Hildyard, Patrick Trevor Kennedy, Constable Richard John Fraser, Senior Sergeant Clifton William Paul Brown, Constable Sam Rundle, Senior Constable Raymond George Wright, and Senior Sergeant Donald James Wisely.