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Police have paid tribute today to a fallen colleague on the fifth anniversary of the Napier seige.
More than 70 police remembered Senior Constable Len Snee in Napier - exactly five years to the day since he was killed by gunman Jan Molenaar during what had started as a routine house search for cannabis.
Molenaar, 51, holed up in his Chaucer Rd house for 53 hours before he was found dead by police.
Among those attending today's commemorations were the two officers shot and seriously wounded during the incident, Senior Constables Grant Diver and Bruce Miller.
"I can't believe it has been five years since we lost Len," Mr Diver said.
"It is so good to see so many people here paying tribute," he said, adding it was still a difficult time to deal with but the support of the police "family" was strong.
Police chaplain Andrew Baldwin led the service while one of Mr Snee's old friends, Dave Coe, regaled the assembled police, as well as friends and family of Mr Snee, with a series of colourful tales about him - emphasising how the "quiet and unassuming" way he went about his policing drew both respect and results.
Wreaths were laid by Mr Snee's widow Vicki, who had since re-married, and former Napier Police Inspector Kevin Kalff.
"This was a pretty special day for me," Mr Kalff said.
"It was good to see all these guys here - to catch up and to remember Len - very special."
Senior Sergeant Mike Stevenson described Mr Snee as "a very special man who was held in such high regard".
He told of how in the wake of his tragic death local gang members turned up at the Napier Police Station with flowers, to express their sympathy.
"Everyone respected Len."
- Hawke's Bay Today