By Inspector Mark Langhorn, Greater Dandenong Local Area Commander
National Police Remembrance Day is on Friday 29 September.
For police officers and the community, this is a time we can pay tribute to the officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
For me, it is a day that causes me to stop and remember mates and colleagues who have been part of my life and career as a police officer but are no longer with us.
Ted Hubbard is one such person.
I joined Victoria Police in 1994 and my first ever night shift was working with Ted.
On our first shift together we pulled over a car in Sandringham and the three blokes in the car came out fighting.
I can still remember Ted holding his own against two of them as we managed to get them into the back of the van and wait for back-up to arrive.
It’s in instances like this you rely on each other, look after each other, and from this we shared an ongoing bond.
Ted and I became friends outside of policing.
He was a fit and determined person and it was this determination that drove him to try for the Special Operations Group.
In June 1999, Ted lost his life during pre-selection for the Special Operations Group.
Ted often pops into my thoughts and I’m sure on Police Remembrance Day his family, friends and colleagues will be thinking of him.
Unfortunately in my career spanning 23 years, losing police colleagues is something I have come to terms with, although you never truly come to terms with the loss of a colleague before their time.
Tony Clarke was a squad ahead of me in the police academy.
After graduating we would often see each other in the gym and talk about our passion for the English Football League.
We would chat about the experiences we were having as new police officers.
Tony was murdered by a motorist he pulled over in April 2005.
This was such a tragic loss to his family, the community and Victoria Police.
He’s another person who touched my life and who I think about on National Police Remembrance Day.
There are 159 police officers who have lost their lives in the course of their duty.
More recently we recognise the impacts of policing attributing to higher levels of police officers committing suicide.
Each and every police officer will know someone who has struggled with coping with the stress and pressures of policing and we all wish they were still with us today.
On National Police Remembrance Day, I will be remembering Edward (Ted) Hubbard, Tony Clarke and other colleagues and friends who have lost their lives serving the community.
I know that friends, family and colleagues of police hold National Police Remembrance Day close to their hearts and it is a day to pause, reflect and remember those police officers who are no longer with us.
– Springvale Botanical Cemetery will host an End of Day Reflection at its police memorial at 4pm on Friday 29 September.