Western cops pay tribute

HONOURING MATES: NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione (centre) with the contingent of riders from the NSW western region in the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance 2016. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

HONOURING MATES: NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione (centre) with the contingent of riders from the NSW western region in the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance 2016. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Half a dozen Dubbo police officers joined more 2000 of their colleagues, friends and family at the weekend for the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance charity motorbike ride.

They joined a contingent of riders from across western NSW, with the group departing Dubbo on Friday and taking in Kangaroo Valley and Batemans Bay before meeting up with the Sydney contingent on the Hume Highway on Saturday.

For Western Region Commander Geoff McKechnie, his sixth go at the annual police memorial ride was no less meaningful.

“It’s a way of paying tribute to and remembering mates and colleagues that have lost their lives in the service of the community through the NSW Police Force,” Commander McKechnie said.

“It seems to get bigger each year and certainly there’s still a strong contingent from the western region and Dubbo that makes the trip down to Canberra to participate in the service that’s held at the National Police Memorial.”

Now in its seventh year, the Wall to Wall ride commemorates the service and sacrifice of fallen Australian police, raises valuable funds in support of fallen officers’ families and promotes motorcycle safety.

Sydney commemorations began on Saturday morning with a ceremony at the NSW Police Wall of Remembrance, where special tribute was paid to NSW Police Senior Accountant Curtis Cheng and NSW Police officer Sergeant Geoffrey Richardson.

It’s a way of...remembering mates and colleagues that have lost their lives... - Commander Geoff McKechnie

Riders then set out for the NSW Police Force Academy at Goulburn, before meeting representatives of other Australian Police Forces on Canberra’s outskirts.

In a final gesture of solidarity, the ride travelled through Canberra to the National Police Memorial for a ceremony honouring Australian police who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

All funds raised by the NSW riders goes toward NSW Police Legacy, which supports more than 20,000 serving and retired police officers and their families.

“That’s what it’s all about. It’s about honouring that sacrifice and supporting the families of our fallen officers,” Commander McKechnie said.

“A lot of people just want to ride their bike and take that opportunity to be with colleagues and friends and take the opportunity to pay tribute to those that have lost their lives.”

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