Police who lost their lives while on the force and the families and friends they left behind, were front of mind this Police Remembrance Day, September 29.
A service for the Mid North Coast police district was held at St Agnes Church in Port Macquarie.
It was attended by current members of the force as well as some of the families and friends of those who lost their lives protecting our community.
"The names of 275 men and women appear on this memorial," Mid North Coast Commander Shane Cribb said at the service. "That's 275 too many."
"Each and every name on this wall belongs to a much loved member of our police family who gave their lives selflessly to protect our community," Superintendent Cribb said.
"I'd like to thank them for their bravery, courage and sacrifice and to pay my respects to their families and loved ones who still mourn their loss, as we all do.
"This day and memorial is a permanent reminder of the dangers our officers face every day as they keep our communities safe."
Supt Cribb, who has personally lost friends on the force during his career, said that "as a police officer, this is the most important day of the year".
"It's about paying respect to those people we've lost in the line of duty, and their families".
In addition to his own debt of gratitude, Supt Cribb believes the community needs to respect what police do.
"While we are tucked up in bed with our families, the men and women in blue are out there fighting to keep them safe," he said, using the recent floods as an example.
The Chaplain to the police, Paul Gooley, who is on call 24/7 for officers, said the aim is to always be there for the families of those affected.
"We have had a history in our command where we have lost people, like at Crescent Head with Spears and Addison," he said.
"We had an anniversary celebration for them... we never forget."
Senior Constables Spears and Addison were two policemen who lost their lives in Crescent Head on July 9, 1995.
Their legacy lives on in their families, who became united in both loss and love.
Two years after their death, the children of the fallen policemen met and later married.
Robert Spears' daughter Jade married the son of Peter Addison. Together they have a daughter, Charli Jade.
Constable Spears' widow, Kath Ward, attended today's service - the 27th year she has done so - with her granddaughter and son.
"It is a really important day for us. We feel like family to the police," she said.
Robert Spears, named after his father (who was also named after his father), also sees the day as a way of staying connected to the police community.
"Today is about reconnecting to the police community and feeling as though we are still apart of it," he said.
Robert Spears considered joining the police force in his earlier years, but decided to go in another direction after losing his father.
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