Press Release – New Zealand Police
Police officers who have died in the line of duty will be remembered at the annual Australasian and South Pacific Police Remembrance Day Service, being held at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Friday at 11am.Police Remembrance Day on Friday
Police officers who have died in the line of duty will be remembered at the annual Australasian and South Pacific Police Remembrance Day Service, being held at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Friday at 11am.
The official national service also remembers all members of police, serving and retired, who have died in the past year. Many Police districts also hold their own remembrance services, under the guidance of their Police chaplains.
New Zealand Police has been fortunate over the past year with no officers slain in the line of duty. A total of 102 serving and former staff members will be remembered at this year’s service.
Additionally, fellow officers from Australia and Papua New Guinea who have been slain will be remembered.
Police Minister Hon Anne Tolley, Commissioner Peter Marshall, and Deputy Commissioners Viv Rickard and Mike Bush will be present along with representatives of high commissions and embassies from Europe and the South Pacific.
Among former staff being remembered on Friday will be two women who have been described as ‘trailblazers’, lighting the way for women in New Zealand Police.
Elizabeth Parker BEM, otherwise known as Betty Bennett, joined Police in 1956 as one of the 10 female members of the Hughes Wing, which trained at the newly-opened Trentham training school. They were the first women in Police to train alongside men. Betty was also one of the first three Māori women to appear in police uniform.
Betty became New Zealand Police’s first female sergeant in November 1961 and took up the position of sergeant in charge of Auckland Women’s Division. In 1962 she was awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of her achievement and her outstanding leadership qualities. In 1966 Betty was appointed to the rank of inspector, and made history by being New Zealand Police’s first female commissioned officer. Betty retired in 1970.
In 1973 Betty married another former police officer, Chief Detective Inspector Frank Parker (Ret). Frank is also being remembered at this year’s service.
Also being remembered on Friday is Jean Dougall, the second female commissioned officer in New Zealand Police. Jean rose to the rank of detective sergeant in 1967 and, in 1977, received her historic promotion to detective inspector. Jean was, at one time or another, in charge of all the Wellington CIB squads, including drug, vice, in-service training and crime prevention.
In 1985 she was promoted to chief inspector, the highest rank a woman had attained in Police at that time. She was also the first woman trainer for CIB. She remained a very private person. Having outlived her only sibling, Jean had no extended family, so it was fitting that Police provided pallbearers – six senior women police officers – and granted her request to be draped in a Police flag and buried at sea.
The Police chevron-embedded Huia feather Remembrance Day Pin will be worn by members of Police throughout the country in the week leading up to Remembrance Day and on the day. By incorporating the police chevron into the Huia tail feather, the design of the pin symbolises the honouring of someone special, now lost to Police.