Honours for fallen po­lice

Awards given at Walsh St me­mo­rial

Herald Sun - - NEWS - AN­DREA HAMBLIN an­drea.hamblin@news.com.au

TWO young po­lice­men who gave their lives for the com­mu­nity in the shock­ing Walsh St shoot­ings have been hon­oured for their courage, 30 years on from the am­bush in South Yarra.

The fam­i­lies of con­sta­bles Steven Ty­nan and Damian Eyre yes­ter­day ac­cepted awards of val­our for the fallen of­fi­cers dur­ing a me­mo­rial for the men.

The haunt­ing mem­ory of the Wed­nes­day morn­ing the young of­fi­cers were gunned down on duty is still fresh in the minds of those who loved them and the po­lice who served be­side them. But Wendy Ty­nan said it was a “spe­cial” day and she felt her son, who died aged just 22, was with her as she, daugh­ter Sue and son Paul ac­cepted the post­hu­mous award.

“I think of Steve and how he’d love it,” Ms Ty­nan said. “He’s al­ways with us … just part of the fam­ily. He’s al­ways on my shoul­der.”

Con­sta­ble Eyre’s fa­ther Frank, him­self a ca­reer po­lice­man, said no of­fi­cer went to work hop­ing to earn an award.

“It’s a very sig­nif­i­cant thing in our fam­ily,” Mr Eyre said.

“An award as high as that — they don’t come easy.”

No one has ever been found guilty of the shoot­ings, and there has long been calls for a coro­nial in­quest. Ex­pe­ri­enced of­fi­cers told how Oc­to­ber 12, 1988 taught of­fi­cers not to be “com­pla­cent” about the risks of the job.

But while a blue uni­form could make them a tar­get, it also uni­fied the men and women in the “polic­ing fam­ily” in times of sor­row.

Chief Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ash­ton said Vic­to­ria Po­lice was com­mit­ted to re­mem­ber­ing the brav­ery and ser­vice of the of­fi­cers.

“Both young men were much loved by their col­leagues,” Mr Ash­ton said.

“They come here ev­ery year be­cause they want to pay their re­spects and they want to re­mem­ber. It’s one of our most im­por­tant days, it’s a day of solemn re­mem­brance.

“We wanted to make this a spe­cial year so mak­ing the val­our awards avail­able this year was an op­por­tu­nity to do that.”

Gra­ham Ash­ton

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