The families of fallen NSW Police officer Sergeant Geoffrey Richardson, and NSW Police Senior Accountant Curtis Cheng, will tomorrow join NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and more than a thousand police officers from across Australia ahead of an annual commemorative charity motorbike ride, the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance.
The Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance is a police memorial ride that aims to commemorate the service and sacrifice of fallen Australian police, raise valuable funds in support of fallen officers’ families and promote motorcycle safety.
The Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance welcomes serving and retired members, sworn and unsworn, and all other friends, family and proud supporters of policing to join in the ride.
The group will travel from Sydney to the National Police Memorial in Canberra tomorrow (Saturday 17 September 2016), where the NSW contingent will meet Commissioner Scipione and more than 2000 riders who have travelled from every police jurisdiction across the country.
Sydney commemorations will begin with a ceremony at the NSW Police Wall of Remembrance at The Domain at 7.30am, providing an opportunity for the family and friends of fallen NSW police to collectively pay their respects.
The policing community will pay special tribute to the legacy of Mr Cheng, who was shot and killed as he left work from Parramatta Police Headquarters on Friday 2 October 2015.
The distinguished service and sacrifice of Sgt Richardson, who was killed in a motor vehicle crash while responding to a pursuit in Port Stephens Local Area Command on Saturday 5 March this year, will also be honoured at this year’s Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance ceremony.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, and a contingent of Queensland Police officers who departed Brisbane yesterday (Thursday 15 September 2016), Western Australia Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan who began his journey a week ago, and Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine will also join Commissioner Scipione for the commemorations in The Domain.
The group is expected to depart The Domain about 8.15am and be escorted along the Cahill Expressway and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge before travelling along the M2, M7 and Hume Motorway.
As the group travels south along the Hume Highway, other riders who commenced their journey from the Illawarra and Dubbo will join the contingent, before meeting at the NSW Police Force Academy at Goulburn.
Following the rest stop at Goulburn, the riders will continue on their journey, where all groups will meet up with participants and representatives of other Australian Police Forces, on the outskirts of Canberra.
In a final gesture of police solidarity and remembrance, the ride travels through Canberra to the National Police Memorial for an afternoon ceremony to honour Australian police who have made the ultimate sacrifice, with their names represented on the touch stones of the memorial wall.
Commissioner Scipione said the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance is a special commemorative event on the policing calendar that was originally developed by mates to pay homage to fallen colleagues.
“Wall to Wall began after a conversation between two police officers, and keen motorcyclists, who wanted to find a way to honour their fallen mates,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“Since its inception, more and more riders have come along each year to take part, and to bond with their law enforcement colleagues from across the country.
“The ride offers police the opportunity to share experiences, and join together to honour the sacrifice of fallen colleagues and reflect on the dedication and resilience of all officers,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“The annual event not only commemorates the sacrifice and continued service of our officers to the community, but also raises much-needed funds for charity, and I am proud to have taken part in every ride since it began in 2010.
“The ride begins at multiple locations across the country – each a revered place of remembrance and reflection – where police collect a Wall to Wall baton to deliver to the National Police Memorial.”
During the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance ceremony in Canberra, the batons are presented by Commissioners (or their representative) from each of the nine policing jurisdictions, and the names on the inner scrolls are read out to honour officers who have lost their lives in the past year.
“It is with a heavy heart that this year our scroll will contain the names of two beloved policing colleagues; Curtis Cheng and Sergeant Geoffrey Richardson,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“Tomorrow gives us an opportunity to honour the legacy they leave behind and express our deepest sympathies to their families who will be joining us to mark this solemn occasion.
“Time has eased the rawness of the tragedy of their passing, but so too does it serve as a sober reminder of the continued danger associated with policing,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“We do not pay toll in equal measure however, as the burden lies heaviest on the loved ones of those who fall in the line of duty. All we can do is honour their memory and support the Cheng and Richardson families through the enduring bond of the policing family.
“Sgt Richardon and Mr Cheng will be honoured alongside 252 of their policing colleagues, who’ve lost their lives over the 154-year history of the NSW Police Force.”
All funds raised during the Wall to Wall: Ride for Remembrance by the NSW contingent will go toward NSW Police Legacy.
NSW Police Legacy provides care and support to more than 20,000 serving and retired police officers and their families during times of tragedy and need.
For more information about NSW Police Legacy, visit: www.policelegacynsw.org.au.
Donations can be made at: http://2016walltowallrideforremembrance.gofundraise.com.au/
Further details on the ride and its history can be found at: www.walltowallride.com
Follow the ride via: https://www.facebook.com/Wall-to-Wall-Ride-for-Remembrance-220459004716239/