Commissioner Katarina Carroll remembers the 147 fallen police officers who lost their lives on the job.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll remembers the 147 fallen police officers who lost their lives on the job.

Top cop reveals her ‘greatest dread’

The Police Commissioner this morning held back tears as she revealed her biggest dread as the state's top cop, on what she says is the most important day of the year for the policing calendar.

Speaking at a special COVID safe service to remember fallen officers, Commissioner Katarina Carroll said getting a phone call that one of her officers had been killed on duty is her greatest fear.

"That's your greatest dread as a Commissioner, that you will sometimes, or may get that call that one of your officers has been tragically killed in the line of duty," Commissioner Carroll said.

"I hope that throughout my Commissionership, that would never even happen, but sadly we know from the work that we do, that may very well happen."

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll at the National Police Remembrance Day at the Botanical Gardens memorial, Brisbane. Picture: Richard Walker
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll at the National Police Remembrance Day at the Botanical Gardens memorial, Brisbane. Picture: Richard Walker

Today's special commemorative service, on the 31st annual National Police Remembrance Day, honoured the fallen 147 Queensland Police Service officers who have died on duty since 1859.

Speaking at today's downscaled event was Sandy Lena, the mother of fallen police officer, Constable Sondra Nicole Lena.

Constable Lena died after she was hit by a car while on traffic duty on the Bruce Highway near Rockhampton in April 1992.

Over 20 years later, Ms Lena said the grief of losing her daughter has never left.

"(The grief) doesn't go, it never goes." Ms Lena said, supported by the Commissioner and Police Minister Mark Ryan, and surrounded by the family members of other fallen officers.

"She was my first born so we miss her dreadfully. Everything we do in life, she's not here with us. But we're very very proud of her and what she achieved.

"(I feel) pride in what Sondra achieved, and also pride in my police family. They're my family, they're my back bone. I'm full of pride for them."

 

Constable Sondra Nicole Lena was killed on traffic duty on April 10, 1992. Picture: Queensland Police Service.
Constable Sondra Nicole Lena was killed on traffic duty on April 10, 1992. Picture: Queensland Police Service.

Ms Lena said the Service had been hugely supportive since the tragic passing of her daughter, saying she "wouldn't have gotten through" her daughter's tragic death without the support of the QPS, while both Minister Ryan and Commissioner Carroll vowed the Service will never forget their fallen comrades.

"We make two promises to our fallen officers, that we will never forget them, but that we will look after their family that were left behind," the Commissioner said.

The Commissioner remembered the four officers who tragically lost their lives in a horror incident in Victoria earlier this year, and paid tribute to the wider police community across the country.

Flowers placed at the Botanical Gardens memorial to remember fallen officers on National Police Remembrance Day. Picture: Richard Walker
Flowers placed at the Botanical Gardens memorial to remember fallen officers on National Police Remembrance Day. Picture: Richard Walker

She said officer were forced to think of the risks of their job daily.

"Everyday (the risk of the job) is something that has to sit forefront of your mind," Commissioner Carroll said.

"We tend to very, very dangerous situations everyday. Thankfully we have contemporary methods and training and skills and equipment that can assist us with that, but every job you go to there has to be a risk assessment around that job and what dangers you're going to face when you get there.

"Thankfully not all jobs are like that, but definitely on a daily basis, throughout the state, there would be jobs that are quite dangerous that at the forefront of your mind."

Originally published as Top cop reveals her 'greatest dread'


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