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Book to memorialise fallen police officers

QUEENSLAND’S thoughts, prayers and messages of support following the tragic deaths of police officers Rachel McCrow, Matthew Arnold and local man Alan Dare at Wieambilla last year have been memorialised in a book produced by the Australian Red Cross.

Cards, tributes, memories, gifts and more were received from members of the public at locations including police stations around the state following the devastating incident on 12 December.

Australian Red Cross volunteers attended many of these locations to provide support following the tragedy and have collated the touching messages into a book shared with the McCrow and Arnold families, as well as the broader Queensland Police Service (QPS).

QPS Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the support continues to be warmly received by both the Service and the families of Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow, who are and will continue to be, greatly missed.

“Rachel and Matthew created positive impressions on sworn and unsworn members of the QPS, members of the community, and they touched the lives of countless individuals and families in ways that cannot be expressed in words alone,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“As many would have seen, thousands of flowers, cards, tributes and other items were displayed outside or delivered to police stations right across Queensland.

“The Red Cross electronically recorded, photographed and collated all items left at these sites and preserved them for these beautiful memorial bound and boxed tribute books that include the cards and messages of support received from the community following the tragic event.

“This was not an easy task, many volunteers were also on the ground at Tara and Chinchilla to provide support to those paying their respects at the temporary memorial sites and during the vigil.”

Australian Red Cross State Emergency Service Manager Collin Sivalingum said it was an honour to provide a listening ear and support to those involved in the tragic incident.

“Australian Red Cross staff, members and volunteers collated the tributes left by the public at Queensland Police Service stations across the state to create the Memorial Book,” he said.

“Our hope is that it provides comfort to the families of the fallen officers, communities and QPS personnel.

“Tragedies like this can have far reaching impacts and it’s often the psychosocial first aid delivered by services like Australian Red Cross that play a key role in helping individuals and communities recover following a collective trauma event.”

A number of Australian Red Cross volunteers involved in the project have been recognised with Assistant Commissioner’s Certificates.

The memorial books have been shared with the families, with plans to display them in some Queensland Police Service facilities.

Keep up with the latest news and check out some of our top stories this week: Calls for Health Minister to step in against staff shortage and Football legend recognised for strengthening communities.

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