Re­mem­ber­ing fallen of­fi­cers

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - NEWS -

IT HAS been 26 years since Se­nior Con­sta­ble Richard What­man was handed his badge be­gin­ning his ca­reer as a po­lice of­fi­cer.

De­spite the longevity of the Her­vey Bay’s of­fi­cer’s time in the force, Na­tional Po­lice Re­mem­brance Day is al­ways one filled with deep emo­tion.

This year es­pe­cially be­ing his last as he pre­pared to re­tire in three weeks.

“(Yes­ter­day) was a very, very big day on the po­lice cal­en­dar and very emo­tional as we re­mem­ber those who never made it home after their shift,” he said.

“To be asked to be a part of the flag party was an ab­so­lute hon­our be­ing my last re­mem­brance day.”

Each year, po­lice of­fi­cers, po­lice li­ai­son of­fi­cers and other staff mem­bers come to­gether to re­mem­ber those who have died in the line of duty.

The cer­e­mony was held at LifeChurch on Friday.

There are cur­rently 145 Queens­land of­fi­cers on the hon­our role which District Of­fi­cer Wide Bay/Bur­nett Su­per­in­ten­dent Craig Hawkins said was 145 too many.

“In the fu­ture we’d like to not have any more but the re­al­ity is there’s ev­ery chance the num­ber will in­crease,” he said.

“As a po­lice of­fi­cer ev­ery day you never know what you’re go­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Con­sta­ble What­man may be say­ing good­bye to the force but he has no plans to stop at­tend­ing Re­mem­brance Day.

As for post re­tire­ment plans, he has yet to make plans.

“About a year ago I was think­ing I should get my­self or­gan­ised for what I want to do but be­fore I knew it I had a month to go,” he said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to life after the po­lice force though.”

PHOTO: INGE HANSEN

RE­MEM­BER­ING THE FALLEN: Se­nior Con­sta­ble Richard What­man rem­i­nisces on 26 years of ser­vice and re­mem­bers his fel­low of­fi­cers in the line of duty.

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